The Wilson Family
The Wilson Family is an English folk music group from Billingham, Teesside, North East England. They have been singing and performing a cappella folk songs since 1974. Over those decades the group members have consisted of sister Pat and five brothers: Tom, Chris, Steve, Ken and Mike.
The accepted benchmark for powerhouse unaccompanied singing, they were awarded the Gold Badge of the English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS) in 2017, the highest honour the society can bestow.
The present-day group are the original core members, Tom, Chris and Steve and youngest brother Mike. In 2024 they will mark 50 years of singing together as a group with the release of their most recent studio album “Sibling Revivalry”.
In addition to performing as a group, The Wilson Family promote and encourage the development of folk song, by continuing to host one of the longest established uninterrupted weekly Folk Club gatherings in the UK.
Sting has recently said of them:
“They have a family sound and a natural, bone-deep understanding of music and harmony. And it's quite something.”
Following a highly acclaimed performance at The Royal Albert Hall BBC Proms, The Wilson Family collaborated with the world-renowned artist Sting, providing the backing vocals on his album “The Last Ship”. To promote the release of the album and the subsequent Broadway stage play, the Brothers performed with Sting and his touring band in a series of sell out shows at New York City’s prestigious Public Theatre, their performances received rave reviews throughout the music press.
Their influences have said of them:
"There`s a musical honesty about them that links past and present together. They are among the people who go about singing traditional songs that move me - which I really love, because that's what I try to do. But what appeals to me about them, apart from their musical skill, is their honesty. They are what they are and do what they do and say what they say and it's very direct and I love that. They're not pretenders."
- Dick Gaughan
"The Northern Wilsonia - a vocal orchestra!"
- Pete Coe/Peter Bellamy – It depends on who you talk to!!
"They have synthesised the qualities of all their major influences, which sets them apart as one of the foremost harmony groups entertaining folk audiences today"
- Roy Harris
"Singing with the Wilson Family makes life a whole lot easier"
- Lou Killen