Jones Family Singers Honor Holy Spirit on ‘Down On Me’ (Song Premiere)

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Tuesday February 18, 2014

From The Wall Street Journal

Jones Family Singers Honor Holy Spirit on ‘Down On Me’ (Song Premiere)
By Eric R. Danton

Think gospel and it’s likely that Mahalia Jackson is the performer who comes immediately to mind for the average, unsanctified listener. There’s plenty more where they came from, though: the Jones Family Singers are modern practitioners of a long musical tradition, and they premiere their song “Down on Me” today on Speakeasy.

“Modern” is a relative term, of course: the Texas group, comprising five sisters, two brothers and their father, has been singing together for more than 20 years, infusing their joyful, reverent songs with elements of vintage soul and R&B. Jittery guitar and a swift-flowing backbeat propel “Down on Me,” which features lyrics offering praise to the Holy Spirit.

The song kicks off the Jones Family Singers’ first studio album, “The Spirit Speaks,” recorded after years of performing in churches and at gospel festivals. The album began humbly enough, with the family planning to record a handful of songs to accompany a documentary about the group by the Austin, Tex., filmmaker Alan Berg. A three-day studio session in Austin instead yielded enough material for “The Spirit Speaks.” Fred Jones, the family patriarch, said it’s an indication that the Jones Family Singers are doing right.

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