Friday, January 28, 2011

Holy Ghost Tent Revival - Local 506, 1/21/11

I'm finally starting to appreciate the local music around here a bit more. And by "local", I don't mean the locally grown indie/punk/post-punk/post-wave/whatever-catchphrase bands that are always integral to a local scene (and that I have always supported). But I'm talking about the local indigenous music.

Where I come from, that's jazz, and funk, and brass, and blues, etc. (I'm from New Orleans). There's no problem getting into that. It's the roots of everything. But so far, the "roots" music from these parts, either played in the purist way or melded with new sounds, hasn't caught my ear. At least not a specific act.

That was until I caught Holy Ghost Tent Revival.

Their show at Local 506 last week was a barn-burner. And the loyal (and packed) crowd proved it wasn't the first. This Greensboro combo bring all the elements of a good ole', well, tent revival!, to a rawk show. The tenor of their show reminded of days of yore catching local psychobilly punks Dash Rip Rock at their earliet hows in Baton Rouge... where so many broken bottles were danced and stomped upon that the floor ended up like sand. Smokin' hot roots music, with an ear to the past but blazing a path to the future. Banjo, horns, keyboards, plus the usual, melded punk, bluegrass, 1920s jazz, all into a downright hoe-down. They had the crowd in their hands, and sang along with them, to tunes like the rollicking "Getting Over Your Love" and the anthem of dysfunction "Alcohol"(see video below).

Stephen Murray acted the quintessential frontman, crooning wildly into the mic and switching between banjo, guitar and trumpet. Trombone and main trumpet filled out what bordered on Dixieland at times (especially when all 3 horns kicked in). The keyboardist was apparently an ex-member from long ago, filled in admirably due to the regular guy's illness. The band danced and jumped all over the place, along with the crowd (in what little room there was... I've seldom seen the 506 so packed).

In New Orleans, ever since the long-forgotten NOLA band All That first melded brass band and hip-hop to make "Brass-Hop" -- which Coolbone also promoted -- I have been a fan of such cross-decade (-century!?) hybrid bands. Galactic are perhaps the masters of that now, melding among other things, hip hop, Mardi Gras Indian, and straight jazz music into a funk-a-licious brew. But (apologies to the late Squirrel Nut Zippers) HGTR are the first NC band I've caught that are doing the same thing w/ the "local" music up in these parts.

More pictures, and video, below.

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