The world according to The Family Stand is full of funk, love, rage and introspection. Formed by the powerhouse triple team of vocalist/keyboard wizard Peter Lord, vocalist multi-instrumentalist V. Jeffrey Smith and soul siren Sandra St. Victor in the early 90s, the band made the legendary “Moon In Scorpio” before going on hiatus in 1999. They have sustained a ravenous, excited following even in their absence. Largely this is because of their dazzling live shows back in the day. Performances where impeccable musicianship, sizzling stagecraft and volcanic energy left indelible imprints on the memory on their fan’s hearts, feet and imaginations.
They did what Great Black Music performances used to do on the regular–make you think hard about the world and your own inner life while you had a stomp down, sweaty, good time in the process. And in a community full of loving like-minded fellow travelers to boot.
Built around the songwriting and production talents of Smith and Lord and the thermonuclear vocals of St. Victor, The Family Stand recombined elements of rock, folk, soul, free jazz, hip-hop, funk and hardcore gospel into a melodic amalgam rooted that’s answered the musical question, What if Stevie Wonder ever sat in with Living Colour, Fishbone and Bad Brains?
More than the sum of their influences though, the group took on social issues with a fury rare for a contemporary band rooted in r and b. Family Stand classics such as ”Plantation Radio” and “The Education of Jamie” are emotional rollercoasters that turn topical, political content into eargasms. At another end of the spectrum is their big club hit “Ghetto Heaven” which brought pure romance back to the hood with a soulfulness and a bounce that still can’t be denied or easily duplicated.
After disbanding in 1997, The Family Stand briefly reformed in 2007, cooking up a mind body and soul throttling release for the occasion, “Super Sol Nova”, which tackled the hot topics of that day: the anti-democratic fallout from 9/11, the war in Iraq, fratricide in the music — and on the streets — with hard crunchy beats, loud and raunchy guitars, pyrotechnic vocalizing, sensuous horn and keys and a rock of ages sense of hope and redemption.
2019 saw the Stand return to the Black Rock battlements when the BRC Orchestra stormed the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There they demonstrated no loss of ferocity, negrocity or spiritual funkgnostificiation, fluidly re-establishing Family Stand’s totemic status as a long-distance runner in the almighty funk n roll cosmos.