Holler-Folk? I was unaware this genre existed but apparently this is how The Ghost Of Paul Revere describe themselves. I think you can describe it as a mix of bluegrass, folk, and older country music from the 50’s and 60’s. The notion of “Holler” is a tip of the hat to the old field hollers that workers would sing in unison that were used to get through the work day. After listening to their latest entitled North you start to understand why they used this term. The first thing that jumps out at you is the vocals in these songs. They are soulful, harmonized, and would often probably sound just as good without any musical accompaniment.
Remember that movie with George Clooney called “Brother Where Art Thou?” – the kick ass Coen brother film that had a great soundtrack? The music here has a similar type of vibe and a very innate emotional center that will never be able to replicated by computer software ( at least not in the not too distant future). Banjos, mandolins, and acoustic guitars create beautiful cascade of strings on a song like “Wolves” while other songs are a bit more sparse such as “Kodiak.” The strings are gorgeous and played by talented musicians but ultimately serve as a background to the stellar vocal performances.
The first track “San Antone” starts with the line “I lost my heart in the heat of San Antone” in which the delivery immediately drips with heart and emotional reverence. I would have been fine with the song repeating the intro for three minutes but instead they opt to speed up the song which is something that will make even the most callous of individuals feel the unbridled joy of Holler-Folk. Second at bat is “Grandpa’s Chair” which takes things up a notch. It is a soulful number that contains some harmonica and mandolin. Other songs like “Mountain Song” have poignant lyrics about the sweat and blood poured during the vigorous days of living of the land. The album ends with “Spirit” which felt like a walk back home after a long day’s worth of work. It’s a song that revolves around the human condition and ultimately leads to the salvation of the soul. Simply put North is an album that shouldn't be missed.
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