Spirit Family Reunion: No Separation
The Spirit Family Reunion are liars. They would like you to believe they’re a modern group hailing from Brooklyn’s whose first release No Separation was recorded earlier this year. This is patently untrue. One listen to the record will reveal to even the most novice of music aficionados the remastered reel to reel of some long forgotten deep South dust bowl masterpiece.
Alright, calling them liars might be a stretch, but there is a definite feel of timelessness when listening to this record. As opposed to most modern folk groups, there is no real sense of genre bending involved. Whereas Old Crow attempts a country tinged format, or Iron and Wine ties the singer-song writer perspective into an indie format, SFR leaves the genre well enough alone, allowing the fiddling and finger picking to shine through untarnished by either objectives or agenda.
That’s not to say its music for your papaw, though if he has the good taste to appreciate off kilter cadence and energetic melodies he’d probably be into it. The twelve tracks of No Seperation simply offer organic musicianship at its finest. The lyrics are neither jaded, ironic, nor cliched, and the style isn’t meant to compete with comparable Williamsburg ultra-hip roots act. Much to Pace Picante’s displeasure, good things do come from New Yark City!
See tracks like, “Sorrow I’ve Known,” and try not to get caught up in the vocalist’s delivery. It’s one thing to sing about loneliness and isolation, but another entirely for the tone to convey more expression than the words themselves. There is a religious undertone to the album which flies in the face of the unrelenting criticism and hyper-disparity found cruising the radio’s dial.
The doss amongst you will accuse the record of having an old timey feel, whatever the hell that means, but the truth is Spirit Family Reunion is a natural progression of music hijacked in the mid fifties by Nashville. Say what you will about post World War success on the everyman genre, the time is ripe for a sense of solidarity amongst those that believe there has to be something more to music than wub-wub distortions, pop sexuality and hip hop lyricism that doesn’t go to lengths to even rhyme anymore. When one looks at our times, an election year in a piss economy, watching the nation loose its grip on any form of reality with a populous beating itself red and blue with apocalyptic anticipation its both comforting and refreshing to hear a band physically make music while clearly avoiding the topical romance discovered/gone sour song content.
For a breath of fresh-air in an otherwise stuffy atmosphere, give No Separation, a shot. If it’s not your cup of tea, maybe papaw would like it.
MP3: Spirit Family Reunion “I Want to Be Relieved”