By Hannah Becker, Special to   Published Aug 20, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Live @ Peck Pavilion is a great opportunity for people to enjoy music while appreciating the view of the Milwaukee River and the chestnut grove on the Marcus Center grounds. With two concerts left for this year, homegrown American music by Spirit Family Reunion will fill the Pavilion tonight.

With vintage instruments and powerful lyrics, this one-time farmers market band has now been touring and exploring around the States. Nick Panken from Spirit Family Reunion took time to tell about his band and explained how humble he is and possibly still in shock when people show up to listen to them perform.

"I am completely privileged and honored if anyone comes in the room to see us play," he said. "It still surprises me. We are able to share our music, meet great people and see many new places on this tour. In fact this will be our first time in Milwaukee."

Besides playing at local farmers markets, Spirit Family Reunion's performance for the NPR Music office last year (also known as tiny desk concerts) helped get their music to a bigger audience.

"It's a great series," he said. "People all over the country said they heard about us from that. It was super low-key with about 10 people standing in the office who listened to us play before heading back to work."

Last year the band also performed at Newport Folk Festival, another move that helped get their music to more people.

"We hadn't toured or put out an album," he said. "We met great people at this festival, people who want good music and want it to get recognized. Instead of having a record label or a hit song, we met people who enjoyed our music and wanted others to hear it, which is what I prefer."

Known for their foot-stomping beats and gospel-like lyrics, this band is unique and not tied to any particular religious denomination. Spirit Family Reunion's career has leaped within the last year and has a strong future ahead of them.

"We play because we all feel like we have something to say," said Panken. "We are enjoying the tour right now but plan on doing more recording and keep playing and learning new songs."

For more information on Live @ Peck Pavilion, visit The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and single tickets start at $15.