Abahachi introduced us to doom jazz – well, this is – sort of – doom folk, and very good it is too. The Ghosts of Johnson City are a dark Americana group from Portland, ME USA and they are gearing up to release their second album, The Devil’s Gold, on February 7th. They have very kindly shared a Soundcloud stream with us, prior to release.
Based in Maine with musical roots in Appalachia and the Deep South, The Ghosts of Johnson City “aim to take listeners on a journey through the annals of the past, giving voice to those who can no longer speak. Their debut album, Am I Born to Die? was released to wide critical acclaim in 2015. The Devil’s Gold finds the group exploring new territory while adhering to their trademark themes of love, loss, meaning and mortality.”
You’ll find links to everything you’ll need to get to know about The Devil’s Gold below.
Here’s a portion of the press coverage garnered by Am I Born to Die? in 2015/2016:
“This is a record to savor when the thunderclouds come and pelt the panes with cold rain, when you sit and worry whether the river will rise and rush in under the cabin door.” — The Bollard
“The body count is high, and narratives of suffering and struggle are central to this hefty folk concept album, wherein we slip between life and the afterlife as if lost in an Appalachian horror film helmed by David Lynch.” — Dispatch Magazine
“From the opening of the record, one can imagine a company of 19th century soldiers embracing a campfire before they turn in, unsure if it will be their last. A dark, consistent hymnal aspect weaves in and throughout the record.” — The Portland Phoenix
“While the songs are traditional favorites, the interpretations are fresh. I’m especially fond of the continuous slow burn of the harmonium in the background – it adds a layer of melancholy, haunted flavor, and to my ear, a hint of the sea.” — Now This Sound is Brave
“It’s that depth — that dark, sorrowful magic from the old, weird America — that is often sorely missing from much new, contemporary folk music being produced these days. And it’s that darkness that is such a welcome, yet unsettling, presence on “Am I Born To Die?” the debut album from The Ghosts of Johnson City.” — The Bangor Daily News