Here we have another band that knows how to hook someone. “The Ghost of Paul Revere? What does a band with a name like that sound like?” is what I found myself asking. Well, if you thought the same thing, and even if you didn’t, give The Ghost of Paul Revere a listen. These guys from Maine call themselves “holler folk”, but if hollering sounds this good, I think everyone would be doing it.
Believe begins with a beautiful, a cappella harmony with “After Many Miles,” a song about finally meeting after death. It’s a song that sees each member singing about different aspects of a final reunion and the different voices and beautifully done song about a dark topic makes for an amazing kick off. The second track, “San Antone,” laments the differences between North and South with lines like “I lost my heart in the heat of San Antone,/ I found my love in the cold of the great white North.” It starts slowly and eventually makes its way to a full blown bluegrass love song. “Andra” is a really interesting track. It’s a song about identity and what defines a person. When you listen to the banjo and the sad, lonesome, Old-West style harmonica right before you hear “I always wanted to be a better man,” it’s hard not to find something to relate to. It’s a confessional song, perfectly accompanied by instruments that mirror the feelings of the lyrics.
There’s a faster more upbeat section towards the end of the album that changes tone into the “holler folk” territory. “Fire in the Sky” is a traditional bluegrass style song with lyrics filled with regret and sadness. “Because I know on the day that the judgment comes,/ Sure as hell not going up.” The song that I would most like to see live is “The Storm”, a fast, banjo picking song that seems like it would translate best to the stage. The real treat on this album though is “Ghostland”. Beautifully arranged guitar, banjo, and harmonica supplement a song about loneliness. “Thunderstorms and bad news, they always make it through,/ When you find yourself screaming, ‘Are you living in a ghostland too?” The combination of the music and lyrics make this track in particular really stand out. When you hear, “Will I see you later?/ An answer only dead men know”, it’s hard not to get chills.
We rarely come across a folk/bluegrass album that can do so many things so well as The Ghost of Paul Revere. Every song has something to offer and, perhaps more importantly, every song betrays their label as “holler folk”. This album contains some of the best songwriting and harmonies that I’ve heard in a long time.