June 3, 2015

Spirit Family Reunion Tours For Hands Together


Spirit Family Reunion will take to the road in support of their sophomore album Hands Together, released this past April 14th. The 12-song set was mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Uncle Tupelo) and produced by the band in Coney Island, N.Y. Hands Together followed up the New York band’s critically acclaimed 2012 debut No Separation, a grassroots self-release that resulted in over 10,000 albums sold side-of-stage. Also issued on the band’s own label, Hands Together was released for the first time worldwide (through InGrooves Fontana in the U.S.)

After more than 250 live shows in support of their debut, Spirit Family Reunion have become a live favorite, stunning audiences at the Newport Folk Festival, Stagecoach, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass among other festivals, and touring with Levon Helm, Alabama Shakes, the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Dr. Dog, Felice Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, Trampled by Turtles, and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Their spirited live show has received critical acclaim, with the SF Weekly naming them one of the best performances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, noting, “The charge in the air was celebratory. We had been baptized.” On seeing the band live for the first time, Detroit’s Metro Times wrote, “It was like when (Jon) Landau discovered Springsteen. When Aretha discovered Ray Charles.” NPR Music’s Bob Boilen stated that the band were his favorite find at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival. 

In an effort to have no divide between the band and its audience, Spirit Family Reunion started playing live in New York City subway stations, farmers’ markets and street corners in 2009 before taking their performances to live music venues. The overflowing energy and lack of separation between the band and audience translated to the stage and also inspired the title of their debut album, one filled with a sound they call “open-door gospel”: gospel music not tied to any specific denomination.

Hands Together was tracked in a temporary studio once belonging to hardcore producer Don Fury and was recorded by the band’s longtime engineer (and longer-time bike mechanic) Andrew Gerhan (Sonny & the Sunsets). It was housed in one of the oldest buildings located on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, above the bumper cars, across from the elevated train and in between Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and the infamous Cyclone rollercoaster. Recording took place in bouts between tour dates, with sessions starting in late winter 2014 and completed in early fall when the area was a ghost town. (During the summer months in between, it was a circus outside.) The band maintained their high-energy classic sound in these sessions, armed such tools as a custom handmade banjo, thrift-store washboards and marching drums, and a vintage Neumann tube microphone they sang around. The studio setting also led to experimenting with some new sounds such as echoplex tape delay, a plastic recorder, and a portable electric organ called a “hymnmaster,” which according to the Internet does not seem to exist.

The band is confirmed to perform at Newport Folk Festival, Red Wing Roots, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, and Mountain Jam, Austin City Limits and at the Los Angeles Bluegrass Situation 2015. 

Spirit Family Reunion on tour:

Fri., May 29  CHATTANOOGA, TN   Nightfall Concert Series

Sat., May 30 CINCINNATI, OH  Bluegrass & BBQ Fest

Tues., June 4  BROOKLYN, NY  Mast Brothers

Fri., June 5  HUNTER, NY  Mountain Jam

Mon., June 8  LOUISVILLE, KY  The New Vintage

Tue., June 9  ST. LOUIS, MO  Off Broadway

Thur., June 11  DENVER, CO  The Larimer Lounge

Fri., June 12  LANDER, WY  Brewfest

Sat.-Sun., June 13-14 JACKSON, WY  Contour Music Fest

Wed., June 17  DAVENPORT, IA  Redstone Room

Thur., June 18  MINNEAPOLIS, MN  Triple Rock Social Club

Fri., June 19  DES MOINES, IA  Vaudeville Mews

Sat., June 20  CHICAGO, IL  City Winery

Mon., June 22  COLUMBUS, OH  Woodland Tavern

Tue., June 23  CLEVELAND, OH  Mahall’s

Wed., June 24  BUFFALO, NY  The Waiting Room

Thur., June 25  ROCHESTER, NY  Party in the Park

Fri., June 26 LONDONERRY, VT  Frendly Gathering

Fri., July 3  SAN FRANCISCO, CA  The Chapel

Sat., July 4  DAVIS, CA  Davis Community Park

Sun., July 5  PETALUMA, CA  Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Tue., July 7  LOS ANGELES, CA  The Mint

Thur., July 9  SAN DIEGO, CA  Soda Bar

Sun., July 12  MT. SOLON, VA  Red Wing Roots Music Fest

Sat., July 18  NORTHAMPTON, MA  Iron Horse

Sun., July 19  PORTSMOUTH, NH  Prescott Park

Sat., July 25  NEWPORT, RI  Newport Folk Festival

Fri., July 31  FLORENCE, MA  Pines Theatre at Look Park

Fri., Aug. 21  RUSSELL, MA  Apple Jam

Sun., Aug. 23  WOODBRIDGE, NJ  Music on Main Street

Fri., Sept. 4  WILKES BARRE, PA  Kirby Chandelier Series

Sat., Sept. 5  NEWTOWN, CT  Edmond Town Hall

Sun., Sept. 13  BURLINGTON, VT  Grand Point North

Sat., Sept. 19  BRISTOL, TN/VA  Bristol Rhythm & Roots

Sat., Oct. 3  LOS ANGELES, CA  Bluegrass Situation Festival, Greek Theater

Fri., Oct. 9  ROSELAND, VA  The Festy Experience

Sat., Oct. 10  CLAYTON, NC  Clayton Shindig

Sun., Oct. 11  AUSTIN, TX  Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival

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