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Folk rock group with Potsdam roots set to perform at Snell Theater five weeks ahead of record debut (video)

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POTSDAM - Galen Curry grew up in Potsdam, more than 1,000 miles north of his two cousins, Jimmy and Tommy Curry, in Port St. Joe, Fla.

Despite the physical distance between the trio, the Currys stayed in contact and always shared a passion for music, leading to various informal performances due to the closeness of their extended families.

Today the trio is an up-and-coming band, touring primarily on the east coast and eagerly awaiting the release of their debut album, “Follow,” on April 29.

Fans of the Currys in northern New York don’t have to wait that long to get a glimpse of their newest work though, as the band will be playing a pre-release concert on Saturday March 22 at the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

Galen, who sings and plays the guitar and keyboard as well, pointed out that he and his cousins frequently performed for their families growing up. More recently, however, they’ve started to take their talents to a more serious level.

“About five years ago we started to play at local bars in Florida and since then it has gotten more serious,” Mr. Curry said. “We all relocated to Charlottesville, Va., together ,and we recorded in a studio called White Star Sound.”

The band, which also includes Johnny Humphreys on drums and bassist Matt Kauper, has appeared and performed on a handful of prominent stages in their young career. They appeared on a public broadcast of “From the Heart Music Hour” and were heard by Grammy Award-winning country artist Billy Dean. Mr. Dean subsequently invited the group to perform during his headlining set at the 60th Florida Folk Fest.

In 2012, the family members headlined a music tour across Ireland and appeared in a Florida regional PBS documentary. This success preceded the decision to move to Charlottesville, which occurred in early 2013.

This past summer and fall the Currys began the process of recording their premiere album, after meeting with producers Chris Keup and Stewart Myers at White Star Sound.

“We recorded it back in the fall, and we are doing a string of pre-release parties. We did a couple in New York City, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Williamsburg, Va., among other places,” Mr. Curry said. “I am really excited to play at Snell because I graduated there. I was born in Virginia but moved to Potsdam when I was five. I consider Potsdam my hometown for sure.”

The mid-March concert in Potsdam will be hosted by North Country Neighbors, a flea market with locations in Potsdam and Canton. Co-owners Tim and Cathy Connolly have been fans of Mr. Curry’s music for many years.

“Galen himself is a local boy. He has played in several different groups in the past, and they played at Potsdam Summer Festival, etc. in the past,” Mr. Connolly said. “It’s Alternative Folk and they’re all songs written by them. They are quite clever. Some are more country, some more bluesy - it is something for all tastes in music.”

Thanks to a web site called kickstarter.com, the Connollys were able to coordinate with the Currys and set up the event.

“(Kickstarter.com) is a web site where people are doing artistic creations of one sort or the other to get backings for their project - this way people can pledge money to the release of the album. Once (the band) reach their certain goal they get it back,” Mr. Connolly said. “The way we advertise is kind of different. (The concert) is kind of a thank you to our customers and celebration for our success and a way to celebrate with some fun and music.”

“It’s a crowd funding web site, and we put a video up online for people to order (the record) ahead of time. We did this in the summer and with the record order you would also get a T-shirt,” Mr. Curry added.

The Currys’s schedule will be jam packed with gigs over the next three months, as they kick off a slate of four March shows in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday. From there, they will be playing in Colorado and New Jersey, which sandwich their concert in Potsdam.

Tickets for the band’s show are free, but must be picked up at either North Country Neighbors location.

“We call ourselves melodic folk rock. ... We all write songs, bring them to the table and flesh them out with the band and see how they will work in the full band setting,” Mr. Curry said. “We will be playing mostly original songs because we want to showcase our songs on the album. We will also be doing some covers.”

The Currys perform ‘Wrecking Ball’
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