Where the Spirit Moves

first_imgWhen Holy Ghost Tent Revival first emerged five years ago, the band’s rowdy, foot-stomping, banjo-driven sound received immediate comparisons to the Avett Brothers. But the five-piece outfit from Greensboro has never intended to follow the formula of their successful fellow North Carolina predecessors.“The Avett Brothers paved the way to play traditional instruments in a punk rock kind of way,” says Holy Ghost founding member Stephen Murray. “A lot of bands have latched on to that genre, but at this point I don’t think it’s advantageous to categorize things that way. Our music is going in a new direction.”Murray insists, though, that the group still delivers the raucous, energetic live shows that first attracted fans.The band members met as students at Greensboro College, and began playing shows together five years ago. On the group’s latest full-length album, 2009’s “So Long I Screamed,” it’s easy to see what garnered the band their loyal grassroots following. With Murray plucking and pounding his banjo alongside additional main songwriter Matt Martin on electric guitar, the band pulses through raw, rootsy tunes, like the speakeasy- ready “Walking Over My Grave,” with time-tested themes of love and loss. Add in the brass blasts of Hank Widmer (trombone) and Charlie Humphrey (trumpet) and the band adeptly combines a rock edge with a vintage, hip-shaking Dixieland spirit.But now the band’s musical vision is changing. Bassist and harmony vocalist Patrick Leslie recently left the group, forcing keyboardist Kevin Williams to pick up low-end duties and giving Holy Ghost a chance to explore new sonic territory.“The initial sound had a much more Dixieland and Rag Time kind of feel,” says Murray. “Since we all have extremely different musical backgrounds and influences, it’s becoming a sound that has a wide mix of everything. I used to look for five adjectives to describe it, but now I just say we play rock ‘n’ roll. I like people to decide what we are on their own.”During rare openings in a rigorous national touring schedule, the band is recording a new album at On Pop of the World Studios in Reidsville, N.C. Recent tracks posted online reveal a retro revival in the vein of the indie heroes of Dr. Dog. Murray has been taking inspiration from The Band and Van Morrison, and leading the evolving group on a path toward dusty mountain rock. He’s planning to release the new record this summer, so fans can come along for the ride.“It’s important for us to get these new songs out soon, so fans can connect with them and feel like they are part of our growth,” he says. “We still play an extremely high-energy show, but we’re moving toward more ‘60s and ‘70s rock. The banjo is still a part of the show, but the sound has changed.”Southern ShelterRefuge for Athens Music Lovers If you dig the bands coming out of Athens’ storied music scene, check out Southern Shelter (southernshelter.com), a website chock full of free downloads of live shows happening in the Georgia college town. From Of Montreal at the 40 Watt Club to the Drive-By Truckers at the Georgia Theater to newer acts like the Futurebirds at the Caledonia Lounge, the site offers the opportunity to get a pulse on the current state of a town that yielded the likes of R.E.M., the B-52’s, and Widespread Panic.required readingAllman Bears AllGregg Allman hiresLast month Gregg Allman released a new autobiography, My Cross to Bear. In the memoir, the Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and founding member opens up about the seminal Southern rock band’s early years, including the crushing deaths of Allman’s brother, legendary guitarist Duane Allman, and bassist Berry Oakley, both in motorcycle accidents a year apart. In addition to his struggles with substance abuse and a rocky high-profile marriage to Cher, Allman also covers his youth growing up in the South and how he came to form the band’s signature expansive blues sound. In the end, Allman gets a new lease on life, as he discusses the life-saving liver transplant he received in 2010. allmanbrothersband.comlast_img read more

Rain, Panthers beat UW

first_imgAs if squaring off against a bitter rival were not enough, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team was forced to deal with a severe weather delay and torrential downpours during Friday’s match against UW-Milwaukee.In the end, the Panthers and the inclement weather proved to be too much for the Badgers as they fell to UW-Milwaukee 1-0 on a goal scored just minutes into the second half. With the loss, Wisconsin dropped to 3-3-1 and the Panthers improved to 4-3-0.After only five minutes of play, severe weather conditions forced officials to delay the game. The delay lasted 84 minutes, and play was finally resumed at 8:25 p.m.In the first five minutes before the rain delay, the Badgers came out strong and ready to play. When the two teams took the field for the second time, however, Wisconsin appeared to have lost much of its intensity.”The first five minutes of the game we came out hard, and we were really excited to win,” junior forward Taylor Walsh said. “Then we had to sit [for 85 minutes] and it is always hard, but they had to do the same thing.””We were not able to change gears like [UW-Milwaukee], and we weren’t able to do the things we needed to do,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “It obviously affected us and we were not mature enough to deal with it.”In addition to the delay, the teams were forced to deal with slick field conditions and periods of strong torrential rain near the end of the first half of play.”It was bad, the first half was bad,” Walsh said. “You could not see. There is wind and rain and it is freezing. We should have been able to push through it.”The teams battled to a 0-0 draw in the first half despite a major threat by UW-Milwaukee in the 16th minute and a pair of corner kicks for Wisconsin. Ultimately, the half ended with a combined total of only four shots on goal.In the second half, the Panthers came out strong and scored quickly. In the second minute, UW-Milwaukee sophomore forward Erin Kreuser scored the eventual game-winning goal. However, despite allowing the goal, goalkeeper Jamie Klages played well, recording seven saves.”Jamie did great; she really saved us for much of the game,” Walsh said. “[She] made some big-time saves despite the weather conditions.”Due to the slick conditions, Klages was forced to alter her play and strategy as she defended the goal for the Badgers.”Instead of catching balls [I had to] punch them wide or push them,” Klages said. “You cannot really hold [the ball] with torrential downpours.”While the loss certainly is a letdown for the Badgers after an impressive victory over Northern Arizona last weekend, the team’s true concern is the lack of intensity and desire in the game.”I’m extremely disappointed with our mentality when we came out [after the delay],” Wilkins said. “We were not doing all the little things that we talk about that are quite important.””It is hard to come out and play hard for five minutes and get called off,” Klages said. “[However], UW-Milwaukee was doing the same thing, so we should have been able to come out just as strong.”Another concern as a result of the conditions is always the possibility of injury, and the Badgers experienced that firsthand when Walsh went down in the second half with a mild ankle injury. Despite the injury, Walsh remained in the game.”It did not really affect me; it just made me mad that it had to happen,” Walsh said. “I just played through it and it was fine.”After a game like the one the Badgers played Friday night, the team will certainly find a number of areas to improve on as they prepare for their next game and the upcoming Big Ten season.”We are not moving our feet and defending quite well,” Wilkins said. “We are being quite lazy and cheating by grabbing jerseys. I think that is unacceptable and we need to raise the level now.””We need to work on a lot of things,” Walsh said. “We need to work individually on just committing to playing and having that mentality that we are not going to give up.”last_img read more