Performers join together for new music venture 'Songbook'

PLATTSBURGH - There's a new sound in town and it's including a familiar face in the local music scene.

Musician Natalie Ward and nephew Colin Ward have joined together to form "Songbook," a duet that combines their performing experience. Natalie was recently laid off from her day job at the same time Colin returned to the area from Oregon, where he played in several popular bands. The timing was right for the two to start an acoustic project Natalie had been considering.

"It was a spontaneous decision," said Natalie. "We both needed a way to earn some extra money while our lives are in transition."

Although their family has been playing music together for most of their lives, Natalie and Colin have been working on putting together a compilation of all the songs their family has sung at family gatherings over the years.

"The Ward family is notorious across the United States for the get-together jams and sing-alongs," said Colin. "After-hours parties at weddings, graduations, family reunions - it is not uncommon to see as many as five guitarists and 30 cousins, uncles, nephews, grandparents, brothers and sisters singing along to hundreds of different classic tunes.

The two will be performing their blend of what Colin calls "acoustic retro folk" at places locally like Meron's, Irises Caf and Wine Bar, and Michele's Fine Dining in the coming weeks.

"We are very excited about our first performance at Meron's," said Natalie. "We're hoping to have a lot of friends and family come out and join us and sing along and maybe sit in."

(Editor's Note: Songbook will perform at Meron's this Friday, May 28, beginning at 7 p.m. Check them out on Facebook by searching "Songbook with Colin and Natalie Ward.")

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