The Relatives

Agent: Mike Leahy

Luv N’ Haight Records is proud to announce the signing of legendary Dallas gospel funk act The Relatives. The Temptations-style vocal group is best known by crate-diggers for their 1971 single “Don’t Let Me Fall,” which is also the title of a collection, released by Heavy Light Records in 2009, that documents their complete 1970s output. The psych-funk pioneers reunited in ’09 and have been active ever since, touring the world and releasing their first proper full-length The Electric Word in 2013.
Since the release of The Electric Word, the band has been profiled by the New York Times and NPR, served as direct support for the likes of Charles Bradley, Shuggie Otis, Booker T. Jones, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and thrilled audiences at Monterey Jazz Fest, Ottawa Blues Fest, Telluride Blues & Brews, and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. Their riveting performance at Solid Sound was chronicled in Wilco’s documentary Every Other Summer.

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The new record, Goodbye World, is an elegy of sorts, since it showcases the final recordings of the Relatives’ founder and leader Reverend Gean West, who died in February at the age of 78. The gravel-voiced gospel survivor had been in and out of the hospital for months, and had a near-death experience during which, as he tells us in the album’s opening track, he heard God’s voice saying “I got a little more work for you to do. I’m sending you back.” Gean took the admonition to heart, recovered and went back to the studio, where he knocked out his remaining vocal parts. Two nights after the session, he was admitted to the hospital once again. He died a week later.

The heavy-hitting LP was produced by guitarist Zach Ernst (Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Bobby Patterson). It marks the return of original guitarist Charles Ray “Gypsy” Mitchell, who recently rejoined the group after a four-decade absence, and features additional guitar work on two tracks from Adrian Quesada (Spanish Gold, Brownout). The band is rounded out by founding members Earnest Tarkington and Tommie West, additional vocalists Tony Corbitt, Tyron Edwards, Kenneth Stokes, and Cedric West, and a cracking Austin-based rhythm section that consists of Ernst, Scott Nelson, Matt Strmiska, and Ian Varley.

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