There’s a good chance you aren’t familiar with Spirit Family Reunion but their first full length, No Separation, is badass and sexy. It is Essential Listening and it’s my favorite album of the year, thus far, and will be high on my year end list. Believe me, blog fuckers.
None of the singers in Spirit Family Reunion have perfect voices but they belt out every word like a rattlesnake had just struck and though no one would ever call their playing technical mastery every note plucked or struck is the goddamn perfect note in the moment.
Remember The Fox Hunt song “Lord, We Get High” with the line, none of us are religious men but if you heard us sing you’d think we were singing a hymn? Well No Separation personifies that line on all 12 songs. They’re not conjuring up the holy ghost fire but they’re conjuring up something and I’m buying.
Several years ago I was living in Oxford Mississippi where my buddy Drew booked bands into a couple of different bars. It was summer time when Spirit Family Reunion sent him their six song EP. Back then a bunch of us were playing horseshoes every Sunday afternoon. On Sundays in Oxford the bars were closed and three quarters of the horseshoe players were bartenders. We drank some beer, talked too much shit, tossed some shoes, and on the good weeks Lawrence brought out the smoker and cooked some ribs that you would punch your brother for. It was some of the best times of my life.
Someone usually pulled a truck into the back yard and cranked the music. It was one of those Sundays where I first heard Spirit Family Reunion. Drew was all stoked about them and so were the couple of people he had played it for. They told me I’d love it. On that Sunday and many after it we played that EP twice through. As I’m wont to do I went looking on the internet for more info and the only thing I could find was a write up on the Grass Clippings blog. I don’t think there was a website or a facebook page at the time. They were something like a mystery. Maybe a year ago I read an article when they said they didn’t know if they’d ever record of full length, they said something about not liking to sit still long enough to record, and so I was stunned when not long ago I learned the album was on the way. Now they’re all over the internets and playing the Newport Folk Festival and the album was well worth the wait. This music is a true story. Do yourself a favor.