family jewels

The Family Jewels (band)

The Family Jewels (1991–2004) was a United States rock band, which released an album of pop with humorous lyrics.

The band was formed in 1991 by three childhood friends after a quiet get-together became a drunken jam fest. This highly unlikely musical trio recorded 2 hours of music about the neighbors and friends on an old beat up boom box and would become the foundation of what would soon be The Family Jewels band. They soon recruited guitarist John Underwood's brother Mikey as the drummer and headed into infamous east coast recording giant, Big Blue Meenie Recording Studios where they recorded various demos with producer/engineer Rumblefish. This led to the interest of NYC recording label Black Pumpkin Records and an independent record contract in 1994.

In 1994 the band released its first single on clear 7" vinyl, Happy as a Fly backed with Phone Sex Girls Are'nt Pretty. This was played on major and college radio in the US, was given rave reviews by U.S and London underground music magazines, and is a collectors item among many vinyl enthusiasts today.

The band's debut CD, The Family Jewels was released in 1996 with such crowd pleasers as "Special K" and "Chickenman From Atlantis". Asked to describe the sound of the record, the band offered the influences: They Might Be Giants, meets Zappa, the Dead Milkmen, and a little Stevie Wonder.

Previously solely a recording entity, the band took to the road in 1998—self-financing their own tour of the United States in support of their second effort on indie Black Pumpkin Records, "Chuck and Louise". Produced by local punk legend and visual artist, Joe Darone, the record would be the band's most boldest musical statement to date, but the release was nixed by the NYC indie in the last stages of mixdown. It has been a lost treasure ever since. Reason given by corporate, " Too expensive to promote". Despite the setback, the record managed to leak onto the internet, and would come to be known amongst fans and aficionados as "The Lost Recordings". Rare and extremely hard to find, "The Lost Recordings" is said to be the band's most innovative and ground breaking work, drawing influence from a broad spectrum of artists and life experiences.

That same year, the band would be dropped from the NYC independent , but stayed a strong musical and creative force in the east coast club circuit throughout the late nineties.

Self financing two more tours of the US and opening for such acts as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Huffamoose, Johnny Cohen and King Norris of Howard Stern fame, the band entered the studio in 2002, once again reuniting with producer/engineer Rumblefish to record what would be their last music before their breakup later that year.

The band reformed briefly in July 2004 to play at the 7th Annual Chickenout Picnic in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Singer Brian Barry is now a copywriter for an ad agency, keyboardist and vocal personality. Miller released a solo album in 2005 titled "Complete Buffoonery". Guitarist/producer John Underwood plays with various acts, working on Suit of Lights' second album in 2007.



  • Happy as a Fly 1994 (single)
  • The Family Jewels 1996 (album)
  • Chuck and Louise 1997 (album)
  • 5 Song Demo 2002 (EP also titled Chuck and Louise II)

External links

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