The Great Afternoon
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The Great Afternoon

Lambertville, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Lambertville, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock




"Artist to Know"

The Great Afternoon’s music is effortlessly enjoyable and makes my ears smile. Wow, Christina Ward has a great voice! Ward delivers powerful and solid lead vocals with a delightful tone. The other members of The Great Afternoon are Kris Knechel, and Brian Huggins. By the way, nice use of a banjo. Well, I’m still just getting to know this Lamberville, NJ based band but I definitely like what I hear.

Stop by The Great Afternoon’s Facebook page ( if you want to hear their new EP. And if you’re as intrigued as I am by The Great Afternoon’s sound then you might want to catch an upcoming show – I know I will.

- One Fan at a Time

"The Great Afternoon-New EP!"

The Great Afternoon’s EP has a much different vibe. Fronted by gorgeous, dark-haired Christina Ward on vocals and banjo, The Great Afternoon’s seven tracks embody a delicate, folksy air, ruptured at moments by stomach-punching drums and beastly bass beats stalking Ward’s wavering vocals.
Months ago, I got the opportunity to see The Great Afternoon perform live in a small gallery space in Lambertville. Though the three members were crowded into a noisy room, they managed to take my breath away with their haunting tunes. The Great Afternoon EP serves as a good introduction to the band and a fantastic release, perfectly capturing Ward’s beautiful vocals, matched by the magnificent drumming of Brian Huggins and hard-hitting bass work of Kris Knechel. Live, Knechel and Huggins shine even more, weaving together a heavy sound that serves as a thick and dark counterpoint to Ward’s high-flying vocals and humming banjo strumming.
With cryptic lyrics, angelic vocals, and an interesting instrumental balance, The Great Afternoon are making truly unique music, practically in our backyard! Watch a live video of The Great Afternoon below, but keep your eyes out for upcoming shows as well. - Princeton Record Exchange


Musicians will tell you that music is more than just a hobby or even a career. It’s a calling of sorts, a passion that can’t be quelled no matter how long you ignore it. That creative spark and yearn to perform is always there, and all it needs is room to breathe so it can once again become a strong, burning flame.
That’s how it was for Christina Ward. Fresh out of high school, she would take her guitar and travel from her home in Gardenville to places like Washington Square Park in New York City or as far as Nashville and New Orleans. “I would just tour around busking [performing in public for tips],” Ward recalls. “I didn’t have any big plans or anything like that yet. I just wanted to go out and play music.”
But closer to home, she was quickly becoming a fixture in the Philadelphia music scene, sharing the stage with contemporary heavyweights and future stars like Amos Lee.
But the first part of Ward’s story ends there. Over the course of the next decade or so, “real life” settled in. She got a job and raised her daughter, playing only the occasional, casual show.
But all that changed again last year. Thanks to some good timing, chance encounters and the inspiration provided by a fellow musician, she’s concentrating on music again. “I was watching one of my friends play a set one night, and I just thought to myself, ‘I could do that again,’” Ward says. This time, a more mature outlook and a strong set of songs is powering her revival.
With her new found desire to start performing again, Ward and her friend Lisa Rich hatched the idea of a monthly showcase. Enter Soir du Femme.
Now the hub of her musical efforts, Ward hosts a set of local female musicians at John & Peter’s once a month. Launching last summer, the shows grew popular enough to get moved from Tuesday to Friday nights, and Ward hopes it has the same effect on others that her friend’s performance had on her. “It’s a great experience and very motivating,” she says. “I hope younger women can come in, see what we’re doing and decide that they can do it, too.”
The monthly performances have also sparked Ward’s creative process. “There’s a great community of musicians in and around New Hope,” she says. “When we started Soir du Femme, I had started writing again, but I needed to be around new musicians. It unlocks different ideas and helps me be creative.”
Back in full force, her focus is now on recording. For the past few months, Ward has been busy laying down tracks in the studio, working on the first album of the second phase of her career.
Perhaps if she was younger, all this would sound like the groundwork for the life of a professional musician. But for Ward, that’s not the case. “Now that I’m older, I’m doing this for different reasons than I was 10 years ago,” she explains. “I was more serious about it then, but now, I just want to play some shows with my friends.”
According to Ward, there are advantages to the laidback approach she’s adopted toward her work: “When I was younger, I was more concerned with how many people were listening, and I would worry if it seemed like no one was paying attention. Now, it’s more of a personal, cathartic experience. Even if just one person is listening, it’s worth it.” - Jack Firneno / 54 Magazine


The Great Afternoon- Self Titled Debut EP Released August 2011

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The Great Afternoon began in August of 2010. The collaborative experiment features Christina Ward on vocals and banjo, Kris Knechel on bass guitar and Brian Huggins on drums. Much of their success as a three piece rock band is due to each member performing their parts engagingly while crafting songs of seemingly effortless complexity.

Their music is alive with driving drum beats, dramatic tempo changes and soft moments which build to swelling crescendos. The Great Afternoon weaves bright and haunting banjo melodies, fluidly articulate bass lines and precise, authoritative drum flourishes into a cascading chronicle of life’s difficult moments which are illuminated through powerfully delivered lyrics focused on overcoming, accepting or yearning for better days.

The name “The Great Afternoon” lightens some of their music’s dark themes with a bit of unexpected irony. Another unexpected component is a banjo in the role of guitar. “People either love it or hate it—there’s not a lot of in-between with the banjo,” according to Christina Ward. “I think people expect bluegrass when they see it, and our music is pretty far from it.”

Though far from bluegrass, you can expect The Great Afternoon to deliver a live rock performance that is deep, soul full and rousing with a lush sound that is greater than the sum of its parts.