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Acoustic bands run for the Border

staff report • Aug 5, 2011 at 3:49 AM

Bristol’s Border Bash Summer Concert Series will play host to two bands with connections to New York for tonight’s show on State Street. Hosted by Believe in Bristol, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, the evening’s events will start with children’s activities, crafters, and concessions at 6 p.m. Now You See Them will perform at 7 p.m., followed by Spirit Family Reunion around 8:30 p.m. The event is free. Meeting in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, Now You See Them’s Shane Conerty, Dulci Ellenberger and Jason Mencer discovered they were all from western Pennsylvania. This one common bond seemed to bind the three together and moved them into a life that none of them could ever have imagined. They decided to pack up everything and travel the world together. Hawaii was their first stop, and four months later they were in Australia. There, they played bars and clubs all around Sydney until immigration discovered they were making money without the proper papers and deported them back to the United States. Now You See Them ended up in Asheville, N.C., playing music on the sidewalks, in front of restaurants and tourists. The acoustic indie folk/pop trio appeals to virtually all audiences through their beautiful harmonies, slow-burning lyrics and non-traditional instruments. Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., with roots firmly planted somewhere farther south, Spirit Family Reunion has comfortably lodged itself in a niche somewhere between the protest stylings of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie and the untamed bluegrass of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. The band works because it doesn’t discriminate from any sort of “traditional” music. With lyrics containing subject matter including God, the devil, hard living and love lost, they never stray too far from the road laid out years ago, but instead maintain a constant ability to keep everything fresh and modern. For more information about Border Bash, call (423) 573-2200 or 573-4898 or visit www.believein bristol.org or www.bristol rhythm.com .

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