When Colin Meloy put The Decemberists on long-term hiatus to focus on other projects — including his own set at this year's Newport Folk Festival — the remaining members needed their own fresh musical outlet.
The Brooklyn band Spirit Family Reunion calls its sound "open-door gospel" — as in, gospel music that isn't tied to religion. It's another way of saying that the group plays wide-open songs of celebration, which in Spirit Family Reunion's case add up to a big, high-spirited, old-fashioned, appealingly playful folk-rock ramble, complete with vintage instruments and shout-along choruses performed around a single microphone.
Dana Falconberry's songs are gentle, almost invariably delicate, sometimes mysterious and frequently feather-light. But her music's sweet, intricate softness never stands in for strength: This is a confident songwriter, whether she's ambling through six- and seven-minute epics ("Leelanau," "Dolomite") or chirping sweetly in the bouncy "Crooked River."
Members of the U.S. national team, including Michael Parkhurst (#15) and Landon Donovan (#10) celebrate with Brek Shea, right after Shea scored the game-winning goal against Panama in Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
For more than an hour Sunday, the U.S. men's soccer team was stymied by Panama's efficient defense and their own tight play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. But less than one minute after substitute Brek Shea entered the game, he tapped the match's lone goal into the net and sealed the championship.
The 1-0 victory at Chicago's Soldier Field extended the Americans' winning streak to a record 11 games and opened the door to a possible U.S. appearance in the elite Confederations Cup in 2017. An announced crowd of nearly 58,000 attended the title match.