BAND SELLS ITS OWN SONGBOOKS, INTENDING TO SPARK COMMUNITY
NEW YORKERS: SFR CONFIRMS ALBUM RELEASE SHOW JUNE 15 AT MERCURY LOUNGE
BAEBLE MUSIC: "WE COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED"
Spirit Family Reunion – the ready-to-break Brooklyn band that's already been booked at Newport Folk Festival and opened for Levon Helm – sells something curious alongside its CDs: band songbooks with lyrics and chords. Guitarist/vocalist Nick Panken says, "We write simple songs that anyone could pick up on. There's a simplicity and universality."
Reminiscent of Woody Guthrie, The Anthology of American Folk Music, and The Band, the songs are intended to be sung by a wide audience, both at Spirit Family Reunion concerts and beyond. Bassist/vocalist Ken Woodward explains, "In performance, we try to break through the invisible shell that keeps people separated, which is why people say we're a joyful band." Panken adds, "Our audience doesn't just stand there. It's participatory."
The songwriting grew from the band's year-long residency at Lovin' Cup Café. Panken recalls, "We started playing these old church songs. We thought that we'd take the feeling and make it more universal."
From the debut album 'No Separation,' the Spirit Family Reunion songbook includes "I Want To Be Relieved," "I'll Find a Way," "No Separation," and "To All My Friends and Relations."
Blogs are starting to pick up on what bookers at Newport Folk Festival and Celebrate Brooklyn already know. Brooklyn Vegan posted "I Want To Be Relieved" and hailed the band's "rowdiness."
My Old Kentucky Blog posted "I Am Following the Sound," calling 'No Separation' "the fervor of a tent revival with the wallop of a bare-knuckle brawler… hoothollerstampandshout."
Baeble Music said, "We couldn't be more excited."
Spirit Family Reunion has confirmed an album release show at NYC's Mercury Lounge June 15.