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Family of 10 Brings Joy to Elderly Through Music

Mike Lawson • News • February 22, 2016

Slewfoot Family Band Wanting their children to make use of their violin and guitar lessons, Duane and Karen Becker of Grey Eagle formed the Slewfoot Family Band 10 years ago.

The group started out by sharing their musical talents, putting on a show at a nursing home in Sauk Centre. As the family grew, so did the band. They soon had many requests from various nursing homes to come and perform.

Playing the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo, hammer dulcimer, whistle and more, the group offers a variety of folk, bluegrass, gospel and Irish music. The girls also do a combination of Irish line and Kentucky clog dancing.

“That’s really their passion,” said Karen. “Dancing is so much fun and exhilarating.”

Today, the band is made up of mom, dad and their eight children, Jordon, 21, Breanna, 20, Monica, 18, Lucia, 16, Lydia, 14, Gilbert, 10, Martin, 8 and Felix, 6.

Karen said they try to incorporate fun into all of their performances, from one of the younger boys plopping their lips to Jordon making farm animal-like sounds during one of the fun songs.

“We also try to make it in such a way that Martin, who has Down Syndrome, can be involved,” she said.

The band’s logo portrays 10 sets of footprints. Karen said they came up with the name “slewfoot,” since they have a slew of feet in their home.

For the last three years, the band has performed at about 80 different nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. Just in December 2015 alone, the group held 41 shows.

“We have made a lot of fun memories doing this,”she said.

 

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