The Ghost of Paul Revere – Good At Losing Everything – GOPR Records
Coming from Maine is the proficient Ghost of Paul Revere cut from the same cloth as the Avett Brothers & Mumford & Son who are themselves cut from bands such as The Oysterband, Spirit of the West, & The Tossers – but lacking their harder edge.
Formed in 2011, Ghost of Paul Revere is indeed melodic with well-structured songs with creative arrangements (“Love at Your Convenience”): quite a rousing little tune. Ironically, another “ghost band” Ghost of an American Airman explored similar regions decades ago (“Coathanger Love”) with a far more dramatic showman & original lead singer.
But I can’t spite The Ghost of Paul Revere since they are driven, with sufficient vocal aggression & dynamics in their showcase. Their tunes — meticulously crafted with banjos & guitars don’t possess the intricacies & eccentricities of The Pogues or Black 47 in these tunes. The musicians of The Ghost of Paul Revere haven’t lived that hard-scrabble life – but don’t be deterred, that doesn’t diminish their musical enthusiasm whatsoever.
Released August 28th is their 3rd LP Good At Losing Everything (GOPR Records). Max Davis (vocals/banjo), Sean McCarthy (vocals/bass), Griffin Sherry (vocals/guitar), Chuck Gagne (drums), Jackson Kincheloe (multi-instrumentalist) & Ben Cosgrove (piano).
It’s admirable just knowing people this young chose this path in their musical careers instead of grunge, alternative rock & provide a modicum of brilliance in their shimmering reinterpretation of traditional styles.
But…they do need to explore curves in their musical road not taken by The Avetts or Mumford & Son. They sound too close to them, too comfortable, & need to challenge themselves (advice here not a criticism – success is fleeting unless you develop something that maintains interest) either in the song stylings or actual showcase itself. Something set aside from the same recipe followed by others.
“Travel On,” is one such bright light. Grittier, brass is a nice touch, & the vocals are saturated with a more alt-country brand. This is where they should be. This has an original creative & musical intensity that is superb. I listened to this three times & it doesn’t wear off. This has the progression that made a career for The Band: Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko & Richard Manuel — so long ago. The tune sparks then flares up with its hint of New Orleans-type Allan Toussaint horn charts.
The nice harmonica-laced “When Will I See You Again,” & “One of These Days,” delves into Little Feat territory, both are well brewed & superb. The well-sung “Dirigo,” is a dramatic ballad with a full-bodied arrangement reminiscent of some excellent past bands such as Big Back 40 (“Blood”) & Mighty Joe Plum (“Irish”).
This enormously satisfying 12-track, 39-minute CD was produced by Jonathan Wyman & Spencer Albee. Available at Bandcamp soon. Website: https://www.ghostofpaulrevere.com/