The Family Stand, the bio
“The Education of Jamie”, live at Pinkpop, Holland. June 1992
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 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 recombinated elements of rock, folk, soul, free jazz, hiphop, 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 ant-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.
– Greg Tate
Greg Tate’s books include Flyboy In The Buttermilk, Everything But The Burden: what white people are taking from Black Culture, and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience. He also leads the sometimes 26 member avant-funk ensemble Burnt Sugar.
The latest release for TFS is the stand alone single, “Naima”. Commemorating the BornDay of John Coltrane. The enigmatic maestro would’ve been 93 September 23, 2019.
To commemorate the day, The Family Stand released the single, with accompanying video, “Naima”, which Trane wrote for his wife, Naima, back in 1959.
Our first record. Insert heart emoji here.
We called ourselves Evon Geffries and The STand then. Later changed to The Family Stand, ‘cause I was tired of being called Evon.
Peter Lord contemplating about Chapters
Our first record as “The Family Stand”. Including “Ghetto Heaven”.
Without Frankie Crocker spinning this thing day in and day out in London, you might have never heard of us. Thank you Frankie!
Moon in Scorpio (1991)
This is my all time favorite TFS album. It seems to be a lot of folks fav. We found that mix that defines all of our tastes, blended into a bitter but sweet addictive dish, that can be served hot or cold. I don’t know what that means, but it feels right.
After I started my solo career, Pete and Jeff brought in Jacci McGhee, who I simply adore. Her tone is smooth but crunchy, just the way we like ’em. She brought a different kind of fire to the table, and it worked.
Super Sol Nova (2007)
What is a Super Sol Nova? A musical explosion of hip hop, soul, rock, jazz, pop, dance, alternative, ethereal, star stuff exploding at the end of it’s previous life, trancending on to it’s next life, to begin the cycle all over again. It’s Volume One of the next journey. The Family Stand reborn letting loose it’s creative gases and sonic molecules so that it may form another and even more powerful creative life force to shine its vibrations throughout the universe.
In A 1.000 Years (2010)
I really do expect that the answer to The Family Stand posed on this album, “In a thousand years, will we still be funky,” to be a resounded yes. I plan on looking down from my perch, in between Jessye Norman, and Sugarfoot from The Ohio Players, bouncing and throwing our hands in the air, wavin like… ah you know the rest.
Remix of Ghetto Heaven
Ghetto Heaven has been covered and remixed by a lot of artists. So I decided to mess around with it myself, along with my Dutch homie, Greg Smith.
For Donovan. May you revel and grow in freedom, forever. Love, TFS.
Where In The World is The Family Stand?
June 1992, Limburg, The Netherlands. The Family Stand prepare to take the biggest stage of their career, Pinkpop. Already knowing this is more than likely, the last tour of a fantastically fulfilling, but uneasy musical journey.
2020, 20+ years to the date of their last official concert as a unit, before the breakout projects formed, The Family Stand find themselves together again, realizing the strength in their union. Their epic performance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 2019, for Black Rock Coalition’s History of Our Future, propelled them once again into the fury, and sexy creative consciousness that brought them together in their formative years.
This tour brings back all of the original band members, including Rocky Bryant on drums, and Ronny Drayton on guitar. The set is primarily based on their seminal work, “Moon In Scorpio”, adding fan favorites from earlier albums like, “Sweet Liberation”, and “The Last Temptation”.
The highlight of this limited tour will be a New York City appearance on the exact date of their last concert in March, 1995, The Last Stand, at Tramps, and will continue into festival season, 2020-21.
The Family Stand, September 7, 2019, performing “The Education of Jamie” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The BRC presentation, “History of Our Future”, was an epic bringing together of New York City’s black rock pioneers, curated by Darrell McNeill. – photo Lisa Cortes
The 3 core members stay busy
Sandra St. Victor
– finishing up her “Beautifully Dark” project with super producer, Mark Batson.
– traveling to Africa as often as possible for concerts, and workshops.
V. Jeffrey Smith
– traveling the planet with the sometimes 26 piece ensemble, The Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber.
– produced the just released Average White Band’s album, “Inside Out”.
Peter Lord Moreland
– putting finishing touches on a new screenplay.
– in LA prepping for a film he’ll be directing next year.
The Family Stand, the videos
Some old and new videos here.