Sunday, 29 January 2012
Review: Highway Ghosts
Highway Ghosts - Beyond All Help (Independent)
Highway Ghosts are an Americana outfit from Boston, comprising of David DeLuca (guitar and vocals), Dennis Barry (bass and vocals), Dan Cody (guitar and vocals) and Matt Slowick (drums and vocals). That’s a lot of vocalists in one band, but it’s something they constantly use to their advantage, through rich harmonies and alternating leads.
Contemporary Americana reflects the music business as a whole. It’s constantly evolving and appears almost unlimited in its scope, from Bonnie Prince Billy and Josh T. Pearson, right through to Taylor Swift, it’s a broad church and Highway Ghosts have set up in the nave. They take the classic sound of ‘70s country rock – Poco, Eagles, etc. – strip back the excess and inject plenty of urgency. Take “Please Don't Run Away”, lyrically it could pass for a new wave classic, but the banjo and mandolin tell a completely different story. It’s probably my favourite track here, but it’s got an awful lot of competition. “Alone” might be a song to cry into a beer to, but maudlin it’s not. It’s all gone wrong on “Laurie” but a sublime Hammond organ goes some way to making it better, and “And She Goes” is a Tom Petty-esque rocker with a catchy-as-hell chorus and the finest quality “whoah whoah” backing vocals – you will join in.