For this extraordinary album, The Sons of The Soul Revivers were recorded live at Rancho Nicasio, a Marin County (Ca.) roadhouse famed for presenting roots music, during two sold out shows for the kind of mainstream audiences that don’t get to hear traditional gospel quartets very often, if ever.

And now even more people will be able to experience some of the musical frisson of those nights thanks to this new release by the Little Village Foundation, a nonprofit founded by blues keyboardist Jim Pugh to put out music that would otherwise be overlooked by commercial record labels.

“When we sing, people say, ‘I felt something,’ and they wonder what it is,” says the Sons’ Dwayne Morgan. “We tell them that some people call it energy, but we call it the Holy Spirit. And it moves. It touches people’s hearts.”

Dwayne, 45, and his older brothers, James Morgan, 50, and Walter Morgan Jr., 55, form the vocal core of the group. They’ve been singing together in church since they were kids.

Walter Jr., who also plays guitar, founded the Sons in 1970 to continue the quartet tradition that the brothers’ father, Walter Sr., and his brothers started with the original Soul Revivers. The Sons are rounded out by Oliver “Petie” Calloway on drums and bassist “Q” Johnson.

“Quartets are down home with a groove that’s out of this world,” Morgan says. “When you get a good, driving fast song and that beat locks in, oh, my goodness, you can’t help but skip.”

With their new album and recent exposure to audiences outside the church, the Sons are hoping to follow the crossover success of gospel groups like Southern California’s Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Dixie Hummingbirds.

“We’re in our prime right now,” Morgan says. “Before we get any older, we want to get exposed to as many people as we can across the world. We’re broadening our horizons. Our dreams are coming true.”

–Paul Liberatore