‘The South’ by Family Worship Center | New Album, ‘Kicked Out Of The Garden’
Exclusive video premiere of ‘The South’ by Family Worship Center, taken from the upcoming album, ‘Kicked Out Of The Garden,’ out September 8th, 2023 via CorpoRAT Records.
Family Worship Center specializes in a strain of redemptive, 1970s-style 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.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s rock and roll, a venue here in Portland recently referred to us as “cult rock, gospel, alt country” – That’s pretty fitting.
What are some bands or artists that have a big influence on you?
The Band, Haruomi Hosono, Karen Dalton, Jim Jones, Harry Nilsson, The Walkmen, everything that came out of Muscle Shoals, Stax, Randy Newman from Toy Story, Marshall Applewhite, Deer Tick, the Murlocs, et cetera.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. What led to the formation of the Family Worship Center?
I was traveling around the south recording random people (in random places – hotels, record stores, et cetera) straight to vinyl using a couple old 1920s record lathes.
This also drew me to rummaging through old record stores / antique stores / swap meets for long forgotten albums, singles, artwork, and books. I was in the basement of a now defunct record store in Nashville and stumbled upon the following documents: [link]
After moving to the west coast I was able to share these documents which allowed for a collective of like minded individuals to gather with the common interest of spreading the good word of Groove.
What is your live show like? Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to play with over the past few years?
We typically have 10+ people on stage at any time- it’s not something I really thought about, but last time we played Treefort Fest in Boise, a friend of ours was in the crowd and made a comment along the lines of – “it’s great watching people watch you for the first time.” It’s like a party is going on that the audience is somewhat confused about, but they still want to be a part of it.
Local PDX / Seattle bands we love playing with – Smoker Dad, Peyote Ugly, Spoon Benders, The Macks. We also have had the opportunity to play festival gigs with Margo Price, Drug Dealer, Monophonics, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Built to Spill, Michael Rault.
What are Family Worship Center’s future plans?
Immediate plans – We have a west coast tour lined up for August and this album is coming out early-September. We’ve already started working on a follow up album. Keep growing our member count and following the Groove, wherever it may take us.
Headline photo: Harper King