I mean that in a good way! As the lights appeared on the stage and the music started, you could feel a vibe take over the Union Transfer in Philadelphia. The audience which was filled with rabid fans cheered in anticipation as The Strumbellas filled the vast hall with smiles through words and music. I’m not sure what my connection with Canadian musicians could be, but I simply love what they are doing north of the border. The Strumbellas hailing from Toronto, Canada include: Simon Ward (vocalist, acoustic guitarist), David Ritter (keyboards), Jeremy Drury (percussion), Isabel Ritchie (strings), Jon Hembrey (guitar) and Darryl James (bass guitar). The Strumbellas shows turn very quickly into sing-a-along, as everyone in the audience knows the lyrics.
The band produces a very large, filling sound, and the Union Transfer was the perfect venue for this tour stop in Philadelphia. The Strumbellas are touring behind their recent release Rattlesnake which was just released on March 2019. The set-list included a mix from the new release as well as the band’s previous three albums. In the middle of the set, we were introduced to “Charlie” which had the crowd belly laughing. There is definitely an infectious vibe which captures you and envelopes you during their show. You become so focused on the performance that you really understand why they perform to a sea of grins every night.
The Rattlesnake Tour continues through June before heading back to Canada (including our previously covered FESTIVAL D’ÉTÉ, along with another FRP favorite July Talk) before jumping over to Europe. Click HERE for all tour dates for tickets, and HERE for everything Strumbellas
Article and Photographs by: Bob Linneman