Spirit Family Reunion drummer Peter Pezzimenti and friend Brian Belott formed a partnership to collect an archive of found recordings when the latter found what would become a staple of the band's set. A thrift store in Colorado unveiled an acetate of a song called "Give Me Wings" by the mysteriously named Cunningham. "It's an aluminum disc sprayed with acetate, a ten inch," recalls Pezzimenti. "He was one of the most powerful singers we'd found and we named him King Cunningham. He was a preacher."
"We collect reel-to-reels, wire recordings, answering machine tapes, and such, personal recordings made by amateurs, all one of a kind," says the drummer, who is also an abstract painter. He and Belott hosted WPS1's Lost and Found Sound show, affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art.
"I played it for the band without saying who it was one night." Spirit Family Reunion picked up their instruments and the arrangement came together immediately.
The band took the song, sped it up, and added their infectious harmonies and propulsive percussion, and recorded it for their debut album 'No Separation,' out June 15.
The acetate also had a b-side, with Cunningham and his daughter dueting on the song.
Brooklyn Vegan recently previewed 'No Separation.'
Paste Magazine is streaming 'No Separation' in its entirety.
Among other tour dates, Spirit Family Reunion will perform June 15 at Mercury Lounge, July 28 at Newport Folk Festival, and August 4 at Celebrate Brooklyn. Additional tour dates: http://www.spiritfamilyreunion.com/#shows
Spirit Family Reunion is Maggie Carson (banjo and vocals), Mat Davidson (fiddle and vocals), Nick Panken (guitar and vocals), Pezzimenti (drums and vocals), Stephen Weinheimer (washboard, drums, and vocals), and Ken Woodward (upright bass and vocals).