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5 questions with Pat Maholland of The New Familiars

POSTED: July 28, 2010 5:32 p.m.
/For The Times

The five-member band The New Familiars will perform Friday night at The Crimson Moon Cafe in Dahlonega,

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After the Charlotte, N.C.-based band was honored with the title of Best Local Band two years ago, it hit the road and has been touring incessantly pretty much ever since.

Its Americana/bluegrass sound comes from a unique blend of musical tastes among its members, but the end result is a foot-thumping, guitar-driven mix of Appalachian-inspired melodies.

The five-member band makles a stop Friday night in Dahlonega for one night at The Crimson Moon Cafe. We spoke with bassist Pat Maholland who, along with Justin Fedor (vocals/guitar/mandolin/banjo), Daniel Flynn (vocals/drums) and Josh Daniel (vocals/resonator/guitar), are recovering from a pretty crazy tour schedule and are eagerly anticipating the release of their newest album.

Question: Are you guys mainly on the road, or do you get to spend any time lately in your hometown?
Answer: It’s been pretty crazy. We just got done doing something like 27 shows in 30 days. We left North Carolina to do a festival and do some dates in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, a week in Utah, Wyoming, and we just got back. Now we’re doing a bunch of short trips.

Q: You also played at SXSW this past spring. What was that like?
A: We kinda go pretty much straight-up acoustic. We have an electric steel slide, too, but we definitely had a few times we just sat around and played. We did, like, a version of a Big Star tune when we were down there; Alex (Chilton) had just passed. ... But SXSW was great, not only to go down there and play but just to be able to go down there and see some bands we really love.

Q: Really? Like who?
A: We always look forward to seeing Dr. Dog, and we were all excited about Sharon Jones and Band of Horses and Broken Social Scene. I think most of us saw Dr. Dog twice.

Q: You recently released a live album, but can we expect anything from the studio in the near future?
A:
(The live album was) recorded down here at the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte by Joe Coleman, who is producing a studio album, our forthcoming album. It was recorded in April; it’s kind of cool because we don’t get too much of a chance to play here in Charlotte, especially in the Neighborhood Theatre, in the smae neck of the woods where we all kind of live around.
... The album is done. It’s in the can. We’re all excited about it; we’re just in a holding pattern right now as far as releasing it. We’re all kind of sitting here like, “OK, it sounds really good, let’s get it out.” But we just ran into a few ends to tie it up before we get to that point. Hopefully, it’s going to be soon.

Q: Are you looking forward to playing again in Dahlonega?
A:
We had a blast down there last time. We’ve done it a couple of times; everybody’s really great down there. It’s one of those cool towns where it seems, when you come through, you’re like, ‘Whoa, where are we?’ Some of these places are so unique that people just trust who’s coming in there, so they know, even if they’ve never heard of a band, they can go see a live show.
That place and The Purple Fiddle in West Virginia is smack in the middle of nowhere. There’s maybe 20 people who live in the town. But there’s 70 who come out.



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