The Poppy Family Experience

The Poppy Family Experience

The Poppy Family Experience was produced by Thomas Anselmi of the Arrival Agency for the 2014 Khatsahlano Street Party.

Coming out of the alternative, underground culture that was flourishing along 4th Avenue in the 60s and 70s, The Poppy Family released a slew of international hits that had a huge influence on Vancouver songwriters and continue to do so to this day.

Formed in the late 60s, the Poppy Family consisted of Susan Jacks (lead vocals), Terry Jacks (guitar), Craig McCaw (guitar/sitar), and Satwant Singh (drums/tablas). Their two albums Which Way You Goin’ Billy? (1969) and Poppy Seeds (1971) sold millions of copies worldwide, and the title track off their debut hit number one in Canada and number two on the Billboard charts in the States.

Utilizing sitars, tablas, and Susan Jacks’ sweet, soothing vocals the band ran counter to the heavier psychedelic rock acts that were popular at the time. However, don’t be deceived by their sunny AM radio sound: there’s a darkness to the Poppy Family’s music that makes them more akin to the mayhem that took place at Altamont than the love-in at Woodstock. Partially due to Terry Jacks’ reluctance to perform live, something the other members of the band were passionate about, the band parted ways after Poppy Seeds.

For the Poppy Family Experience, Susan Jacks, Craig McCaw, and Satwant Singh reunited to perform hits from their storied catalogue. Accompanying the trio for the once in a lifetime performance is Vancouver music royalty, whose sound bears the influence of the Poppy Family, including John Collins and Kurt Dahle of the New Pornographers, Ted Bois of Destroyer, and Josh Wells and Amber Webber of Lightning Dust and Black Mountain.

Read about the Poppy Family Experience in the Georgia Straight and the Vancouver Sun.