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So Long I Screamed

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Album Review

Musical labels don't fit too well with Holy Ghost Tent Revival. The raucous six-piece band plays a lot on the bluegrass festival circuit, but they sure aren't bluegrass, at least not in any obvious way, although they do play essentially acoustic and there are banjos aboard. They're sort of like a jug band, too, but with a rock and pop sensibility, and in truth, they sound like a ragtag New Orleans street corner horn band gone south into the land of indie rock dragging a little ragtime tempo with them. The band itself calls what they do "earthy jazz," and that works, if one recalls that jazz was once dance music with a prime mission of getting people moving and having a good time. All of this and more is readily apparent on the group's delightful debut album, So Long I Screamed, which serves up good-time sounding, horn-inflected tracks that brim with an easy, fun, and natural energy. The songs, although they initially seem like loosely constructed affairs, are actually tightly crafted pop gems with timeless melodies, great harmonies, and subject matter that more often than not circles around the craziness of love, all delivered with an immediate and organic rush of joy. Check out the naturally zippy "Down the Street," or the street corner dance jazz of "Getting Over Your Love" or "Needing You," or the harmonies and pop song dynamics of "Honey Beware" to hear what this fun band has to offer. They may be hard to classify but they sure aren't hard to listen to, and when all is said and done, it's dance music — pure and wonderful street corner dance music.

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