Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pick of the Day: Holy Ghost Tent Revival at FooBar

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Where: FooBar, 2511 Gallatin Pk.
When: Thu., March 10, 9 p.m.
Free

Fresh takes on the currently fashionable craze for pre-World War II blues are rare, but here’s a strange band that makes like a demented Dixieland ensemble with an ear cocked to the avant-garde jazz of Henry Threadgill.

From Greensboro, N.C., Holy Ghost Tent Revival are a six-piece group who favor the usual banjos and guitars. What is notable about these guys, however, is the way they integrate trumpet, trombone and euphonium into dense arrangements that employ stop-time passages, call-and-response vocals and some very weird unison riffs. Over the course of two EPs, they’ve juiced up songs about alcohol and steamboats with good-natured polyphony that skirts virtuosity.

Such songs as “Cardinal Directions” and “Under Your Fingers” amount to pastiches of big-band blues. If the tunes themselves seem less than substantial, the sheer velocity of the attack makes for exciting, oddball music.

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