Folk Family Revival


Rising band from Magnolia will play South By Southwest

Throughout its existence, the Magnolia-based band, Folk Family Revival, has been impossible to pin down.

The band started off humbly enough, playing music for their church before they were even a band. They spent some time playing under the name Atonement, as a hard-rock/metal band that occasionally performed gigs in Houston. They have experimented with southern rock, country, blues and Americana sounds—all of which can be heard on “Unfolding,” the album they released in July 2011. Though their sound has transitioned through the past 10 years, the band has maintained the same core group of members.

“We want every record to sound like a new band,” said Mason Lankford, who leads the group on vocals and guitar. “It’s about constantly renewing yourself and making new things.”

Folk Family Revival is composed of four members, all in their early 20s: Mason, his brothers—drummer Lincoln and bassist Barrett—and electric guitarist Caleb Pace, who, as far as the band is concerned, is a brother to them all as well. They all live in Magnolia, where they grew up, and where the Lankford brothers were homeschooled.

“Growing up in Magnolia allowed us to approach the whole music scene as the guys who didn’t know anything about how it worked,” Barrett said. “We didn’t do it to be a part of the scene. We just did it naturally.”

“Unfolding”—released by local indie record label Magnolia Red—is the band’s first album under the name Folk Family Revival. Reviews have been largely positive, according to Mason.

“A couple will point out parts they think aren’t as good as other parts, but everyone seems to like the record,” he said.

The notoriety raised by the release of their first album helped FFR secure an upcoming gig with the Texas Music Revolution this March, as well as an official showcase in South By Southwest in Austin.

“It’s one of the most exciting shows we’ve ever got the chance to be a part of,” said Mason about SXSW. “It won’t be our biggest, but it’s right up our alley.”

Harmonicas, mandolins and a mixed bag of percussion are all a part of the show. The band likes to describe its sound as “folk-n-roll,” but they avoid identifying with any particular genre.

“Unfolding” is the product of nearly 10 years of songwriting, according to Mason. During production, the band reached back for inspiration from songs they wrote when they were 14. The songs have changed over time just as all their songs are constantly changing.

“The songs are never finished,” Mason said. “Even after we record them, they keep changing forever.”

FFR hopes to continue to grow as a band and plans to keep experimenting with new sounds and ideas. As far as what the next album will be about, the band said it is not something that can be easily explained.

“If you really dig into the lyrics of the song, you can find the message,” said Mason. “We can’t explain it without the songs. That’s why we write the music.”

Folk Family Revival is scheduled to play at Southern Star Brewery, 1207 N. FM 3083 Rd. E, Conroe, Feb. 12. The band’s full concert schedule can be found at “Unfolding is available on iTunes.

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Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.
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