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Sounds | Family Worship Center - The South

Welkom terug in de jaren zeventig, ergens diep down south in de V.S. Meer retro/vintage dan dit kan het bijna niet: vette guitar licks, een sompige ritmesectie, soulvolle backing vocals, honky tonk piano en een complete horn section. Yep, ook de oertypische gitaarsolo komt even piepen. Enige reden dat ik die niet in het eerste rijtje plaatste is omdat die geen tien minuten duurt (wink). Moet ik nu écht alle grootheden opnoemen naar wie hier wordt gerefereerd? Komaan zeg, hit the play button en geniet ervan.

Kicked Out of the Garden verschijnt in September via CorpoRAT Records.

Luister ook naar: Reason To Live


In a time when he was spiritually and artistically aimless, Family Worship Center’s shamanistic figurehead Andy Krissberg took a brief hiatus from creating music. He embarked on a freewheeling, soul-searching journey inspired by the late ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. Krissberg visited remote places across the country, creating field recordings of musicians he met straight to vinyl on a 1940s record lathe.

His adventures led him to fleabag motels, sketchy back alleys, lonely restaurants, and dive bars. His crusade had him rummaging through old record stores, antique stores, swap meets for long forgotten albums, singles, artwork, and books. On one of his expeditions, in a now-defunct record store in Nashville, Tennessee, Krissberg stumbled upon a 21-page bible for a strange cult-like collective that billed themselves as Family Worship Center.

Leafing through the yellowed pages, he felt a strange resonance with the Family’s communal quest for Groove enlightenment. Family Worship Center proposed a simple prescription to achieve a utopian existence: Surrender material possessions. Walk to the beat. Never hurt another Family Member. In a private mystical moment, Krissberg vowed to adhere to these beliefs, and is now eager to share the message with others through song as the band, Family Worship Center.

Today, the Portland-based collective announces its revelatory debut, Kicked Out Of The Garden (CorpoRAT Records), which will be preceded by the single “The South.” Krissberg shares: “I have been able to share these documents, paired with teachings that have been passed onto me, to foster a collective of like-minded individuals to gather with the common interest of spreading the good word of Groove. Our program for living has helped myself and many others find peace and purpose within. We are a dedicated bunch from all walks of life, and our numbers are growing every day. We are more than a band—we are a way of life.”

Family Worship Center specializes in a strain of redemptive, 1970s-styled rock n’ roll that recalls the Rolling Stones, Leon Russell, The Band, and Delaney & Bonnie. The band formed in 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee founded by prophetic visionary, singer-songwriter and keyboardist Krissberg, but it has since relocated to Portland, Oregon. In 2020, Family Worship Center released the EP Sunday A.M. (2020) recorded by Grammy-winning producer Eddie Spear (Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke, Lukas Nelson), and featuring musicians associated/who have played with The Band, Deer Tick, Ringo Starr, James Brown, Keith Richards, and Foxygen, among others. The Family’s latest offering—it’s first long player—Kicked Out Of The Garden, features a core band of devoted musicians, and was produced by Portland go-to producer Cameron Spies (Spoon Benders, Shivas) who specializes in what he calls “mid-fi.” Kicked Out Of The Garden was tracked in Portland with additional recording done in Philadelphia and Ukraine.

The 8-song album’s evocative title speaks to Krissberg’s transformative spiritual journey in achieving righteous communal Groove. “This album was written to draw parallels between the previously mentioned found documents and the many characters I’ve met throughout my travels,” he says.

The single, The South, is a potent introduction to Family Worship Center. A chicken pickin’ lick introduces the rollicking song whose deep groove careens like a festive Allen Toussaint-styled party platter of twanging guitar, swampy backbeats, barrelhouse piano, female church choir vocals, and maniacal, preacher man vocals. “It is an anthem about the South, trying to celebrate the artistic contribution from the music that has been coming out of that part of the country for years while also reflecting on relationships with people in my past, family and friends where I cared about them as individuals but did not always agree with their point of views,” Krissberg says. The song is a compassionate critique with layered-meaning verses such as: Those city lights/And those southern nights/Well those city folk/Don't give a good goddamn/I don't need/None of your gypsum weed/Give me that ecstasy/take me as I am. “The sentiment here is like waking up to find out your mom is part of a rival cult—you still love her, but you’re like ‘oh mom!,’” Krissberg says with a good-natured laugh.


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