By the grace of God, the septuagenarian Reverend Gean West and his brother Tommie West of Dallas TX, who formed the psych-funk gospel group the Relatives in the early 1970s, have been resurrected by some young soul aficionados onto the label Yep Roc, and yea verily, they doth funk once more! O ye of little faith, there IS a subgenre of gospel rock with screamin' wah-wah guitars, whompin' bass and slammin' drums (see for example, the great Numero Group compilation Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal). You know, a real Hendrixy, Sly Stone kind of gospel, and the Relatives are surely its finest living exponents. First the guys at Antone's Records in Austin dug up some original Relatives 45s, then the Spoon drummer and producer Jim Eno got on board, next thing you know they've tracked the brothers down, and these old gospel dudes are blowing away crowds at Austin City Limits and Bonaroo. Jim Eno produced these new recordings, which have every inch as much fiery, thrilling psych-funk soul as the few extant classic original joints. Anyone who loves '60s soul know that one of its immediate antecedents is gospel, which is where everyone from Sam Cooke to Aretha Franklin got their start. You don't have to be a worshipper to feel the spirit of the Relatives -- it's sin and suffering, fire and redemption, temptation and salvation, the stuff of all great rock & roll. It's great to hear some unheralded originals blast out of the past, still sounding sanctified 40 years after they first plugged in the Electric Word.