Spirit Family Reunion is by no means a new band (they’ve been around for over three years now), but if you don’t know them already, then this post is for you. Judging from their raucous and dusty bluegrass-y sound, you wouldn’t believe they hail from Brooklyn – this kind of music belongs in Southern barn dances, not the cold streets of New York. Furthermore, their music recalls some of the greats like Woody Guthrie and Dylan and The Band – the fact that they have managed to reclaim and revive that old-timey sound and transform their music into something that simultaneously feels old and new is nothing short of impressive. The song’s subject matter – not surprisingly – includes God, the Devil, whisky and lost love, so they haven’t strayed too far from their genre lyrics-wise; however, while still keeping that country charm intact, they’ve infused it with a fresh and modern twist. But best of all, you can tell they are just damn happy to be playing, and that authenticity is contagious for the listener.
This music is meant to be danced and sung along to; I assure you, you’ll find yourself clapping, foot-stomping, a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’ to their music soon enough. Nick Panken’s raspy vocals have a swagger and a wise-beyond-his-years quality that instantly commands attention, as the rest of the spirited bunch relentlessly goes on about fiddlin’ n’ pickin’. You’d be wise not to dismiss them as yet another acoustic-driven, rootsy tribute act. These guys are the real deal. It’s as if they’ve left their sound marinating for a few generations, and just now they’re ready to crack open the mason jar and let the world sample the rich-ass molasses aroma of their sound. Check them out below.
“100 greenback dollar bills”: