Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Holy Ghost Tent Revival, based in Greensboro, NC, has swept away audiences over the past five years and built a reputation for energetic, tightly crafted music with meaningful lyrics presented in signature memorable, passionate performances. It is this music that moved Chris Hillman from The Flying Burrito Brothers to exclaim “Man! You guys have really got something,” as he watched from offstage at the Loveless Café in Nashville. This feeling manifests itself in the band’s second full length album, Sweat Like the Old Days. Listeners will find the group maturing away from their blend of Dixieland- and ragtime inspired folk rock into a more electric, horn and rock driven sound.
Their first release from 2008, So Long I Screamed, is indicative of the national folk explosion taking hold of musicians at that time. Essentially an acoustic album, it has the ring of bluegrass, yet has all the sensibility and infectious energy of rock; an album chock full of driving horn sections, rich harmonies, and catchy melodies. This progression continued the next year with their second release, Family, enlisting A-list musicians to supply additional talent to their expanding electric sound. Here, the band allowed the tape to roll well before and after each take, and this laidback approach not only calls to mind the quality of an Alan Lomax field recording from the 1930s, but also invites listeners into the loose and raucous affair.
Since 2009, the band has played 300 dates per year up and down the East coast and as far west as Chicago and Austin, headlining festivals like Shakori Hills, Bele Chere, and Bristol Rhythm & Roots. Withstanding the loss of their founding bassist in the fall of 2011, the band has nursed their sound after months in the studio into an even more concentrated rush of electric joy that may surprise listeners accustomed to vintage Ghost. Their third studio album, Sweat Like the Old Days, which was released in September 2012, reveals a group of songwriters producing mature, thoughtful lyrics atop lush arrangements. It is a wholly original sound, unshaken by change, which signals a bright and enduring future for years to come.