Released in 1996, Spanic Family Album is the fourth album by the father and son duo of Tom and Ian Spanic (not counting the 1992 compilation of early recordings called Early Spanic Boys). It's a departure for the Milwaukee-based roots rockers; earlier albums had featured the boys playing a loose and rockin' form of neo-rockabilly not too far removed from Chris Isaak's early albums. The lower-voltage Spanic Family Album (oddly, the Spanic Boys name appears nowhere on the packaging or disc) is largely acoustic, with minimal drums and no bass, and resembles albums like the Everly Brothers' late-'60s roots move Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, although with an all-original set list. Tom Spanic's cousin, Butch Westphal, joins the duo on this album, his high lonesome harmonies adding a more pure country edge to the proceedings. A relaxed, intimate set of simple and heartfelt songs, Spanic Family Album is an unpretentious gem. This album was released just as East Side Digital was closing its doors and transmogrifying into the folk and world music label Northside, and so it was in and out of the stores in no time at all. Orchard Records reissued the album in its original form in 2000.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason