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Ghost Dance

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Album Review

Had the Haints (Southern lingo for "ghosts") formed several decades earlier, their hybridized rockabilly tunes might've found a home on the Sun Records roster. Ghost Dance doesn't boast the sexual energy that made the Sun label such a force in early rock & roll, but it still strikes the same down-home sweet spot that inspires audiences to shake their hips and wistfully dream of Dixie life. With a solid, semi-rasped voice, frontman Jamie Barrier leads his bandmates through 20 servings of spooky Southern hospitality, from old reworked blues tunes ("St. Louis Blues") and rhythmic shuffles ("For Every Glass That's Empty") to the lonely banjo-led strains of "Ol' White Thang Blues." For a band so obsessed with prowling ghosts and screaming banshees, the Pine Hill Haints sound remarkably lively as they scrape washboards, bang snare drums, and occasionally max out their cheap microphones. One gets the impression that the bandmates don't fear their spooky subjects as much as view them as part of the South's culture, as integral to the region as bluegrass and soul food. Hauntings and heartache can make strange bedfellows, but the Haints somehow make the combination work, sandwiching songs like "I Never Thought the Day Would Come When You Could Hate Me So Dearly" (a rollicking country-rock number, and perhaps the best track on the disc) in between the supernatural fare. Ghost Dance's song are short and concise, rarely stretching past the two-and-a-half-minute mark, and bridges are abandoned in favor of tight verse/chorus packages. The result is certainly evocative of the South — of tin-roofed shacks, cotton fields, and haunted crossroads — but it also suggests an earlier era of rock & roll, one in which the "roll" was prized above most everything else.

Customer Reviews

try it

This albums nothin' but fun at times. Think The clash on vacation in Memphis.

truely unique

i saw them live and now im addicted. the wastub base is amazing. my wife and daughter love it as well


These guys are great, everything they do is awesome! Be sure to check out their sister bands The Wednesdays and The Natchez Shakers as they are also paradigms of awesomeness.


Formed: 1998 in Huntsville, AL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Taking inspiration from roots music and Southern tales of the supernatural, the Pine Hill Haints play a self-described style of "Alabama ghost country" that touches upon honky tonk, rockabilly, folk, and bluegrass. As a child, vocalist Jamie Barrier often joined his grandfather in attending local hootenannies, where he was exposed to the musical traditions of his native Alabama. Later, Barrier honed his own voice by singing in a graveyard -- the Pine Hill Cemetery -- and formed a raucous rockabilly...
Full Bio