One of the nominees for Best Country Band that will also be performing at this year’s 35th Annual REVIEW Music Awards on May 16th is The Family Tradition Band, who since their formation back in 2015 have steadily evolved into one of Michigan’s Premier Country Rock Bands.
Featuring a collective of world-class musicians consisting of Randy Badour, Kyle Andrew, Randy Palermino, Billy Hamblin, Tommy Furbacher, and Ken Kudsin, the group has been making their own lane in the regional country music scene by creating a professional high energy live show coupled with engaging original material that raises the bar of their musical mission.
While the band lineup includes many of the traditional country elements that gives country music its ‘color’, including fiddle, banjo, and pedal steel guitar; these elements when mixed with their new aged guitar driven sound with classic roots, true 3-part vocal harmonies, and a rock solid rhythm section, distinguishes The Family Tradition Band with a musical authenticity that is difficult to replicate.
With a growing reputation that has steadily spread throughout the state, Family Tradition has opened for artists such as Scotty McCreary, Joe Nichols, The Oak Ridge Boys, Love & Theft, Jerrod Niemann, Trent Tomlinson, Colt Ford, LanCo, and Craig Wayne Boyd while also staging many of their own shows. Recently they held a release part for their new single, Old Country Songs, at The Westown in Bay City and their music is available on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, itunes, YouTube Music and most digital platforms. They have also just recently shot a music video for their new single title “Whiskey Shakedown” and the song will be released on all digital music platforms later this month.
“I started out being influenced by a handful of artists such as George Strait, Tracy Bird and Gary Allan who had more of a rock-sound and who’s debut album back in 1996, titled Used Heart for Sale, struck gold,” explains Randy Badour, who hails from Bay City. “I fell in love with that more traditional 90’s Country sound while keeping focused on the new style of writing and embracing those concepts when writing my own music, but I definitely prefer the older sound.”
“I moved to Nashville back in 2012 because of an opportunity to tour with a band that was focused on evolving the “Rock n Roll” side of new country that helped get me more involved that way, but I am definitely more geared to planting classic roots into that sound. I like the newer stuff that sounds old and that’s how we base the sound of our newer original material - more around the sensibilities of classic Country artists. “I like the newer artists such as Luke Combs, Jason Aldean and Eric Church” reflects Kyle Andrew.
While the band first formed back in 2015, by Kyle Andrew (Lead Guitar/Vocals) and his Father, Randy Palermino (Bass Guitar) it has evolved into a second extended family, says Kyle. “We spend a lot of time together and it’s the core values of running it like a business but treating everyone like family”, is to why he credits a lot of their accomplishments and overall wellbeing of the band.
Today the group’s members are spread all across the state of Michigan and while many of their musical influences while varied, are also tied together by shared sensibilities. We feel as if to make a Country band at this level in Michigan as we feel it takes many different walks of life from all over to create that unique sound. We have members that hail from down river Detroit (Southgate) all the way up to Bay City. It takes the efforts of a lot of talented people to put it all together, and we feel like we have the best guys for the job.”
Given that the nature of the pandemic put everything on hold for the past year, forcing adaptation we all have all had to navigate, how have the lockdowns impacted the growth of the band and how have they spent much of their time over the past year?
“Basically, after the whole world shut down last March of 2020 and most of our shows we’re cancelled, like everybody else we had to learn to adapt,” continues Kyle. “During the early days of the shutdown we were able to focus more on video productions and live streaming; but we also we got creative on the types of outdoor shows we could do. Even with the lockdowns we still played over 50 shows over the expanse of the year.”
When examining the state of country music and the clubs and festivals that showcase that music, what do Randy and Kyle feel distinguishes what they are doing from the other touring artists out on the circuit?
“I think there are a handful of things you could say set us apart a little bit,” reflects Randy. “We really pay a high attention to detail in terms of production and how we conduct our shows. We bring the most professional musicians into play that we possibly can and that’s one thing in the live music industry that you sometimes don’t see happening a lot conceptually.”
“I feel because we focus on creating our performances into more of a production
s with professional lighting and sound, and by adding a professional crew to run them; specifically, Robert Muccino of EQS Sound and Brian Phillips our lighting engineer. We try to always make the shows as fun and exciting as we can, and every year we make the show bigger and better, because we feel you get back what you put into it. People know they will see a more polished show with new originals and it just keeps growing.”
“Actually, we don’t play bars a whole lot,” he continues. “You won’t see the whole band perform in a bar because we save that lineup of the band for special occasions and bigger events, such as the Bay City Country Music Festival that is coming up shortly. Our smaller shows are more definitely more intimate, usually only a duo or trio in any smaller venue or club, which makes our bigger shows feel more special. Fans know they have to come to the bigger events to see the full band performance and that increases our appeal to promoters as well.”
As for their immediate goals the group plans to continue promoting their originals and new releases. “We’re going to be busy performing and have over 60 shows booked for this year already,” concludes Kyle.
We are definitely looking forward to performing at the REVIEW awards and the Country Music Fest up in Bay City, as well as many events up in mid and northern Michigan this summer.
In addition to the REVIEW Music Awards on Sunday, May 16th, the Family Tradition Band will also be performing at the Midland Street Party in Bay City with special guest Whiskey Fix on June 11th and the Bay City Country Music Festival with Jake Owen & Randy Houser on June 19th.