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To Win or to Lose

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iTunes Review

Alabama’s Pine Hill Haints ain’t afraid of no silly old ghosts (which is what a haint is, after all), hillbilly banjos, or covering classics by revered artists such as Woody Guthrie (they whoop it up on “The Ranger’s Command”). After more than a decade together, Jamie Barrier and his bandmates (one of whom is wife Katie on washboard, saw and mandolin) sound more confident than ever in fusing their unique blend of bluegrass, folk and Americana to music rooted in other cultures.  To Win Or Lose is delightfully full-bodied and multi-textured, lively and engaging. From the steam engine fervor of “Intro” and “Not So Lucky,” to the Calypso plunkings of “Borello Blackwindow” and the mandolin-fiddle hoedown of “How Much Poison,” this collection is sure to win over legions of new fans, even those who feel queasy when they hear commercial “country” music. Yeah, that’s a wayward reggae riddim on “Scar,” a Cajun patois on "Je Passe Devant Ta Porte,” and the spirit of Jon Langford & the Mekons wafts through the two-step worthy “Never Cry.”  What could be more fun?

Customer Reviews

Ghost Music

"To Win or to Lose" is chock full of goodness. Really enjoy "Never Cry" and "Never Gonna Die". The chorus for "My Bones Are Gonna Rise Again" naws at my craw in a most pleasing fashion. Fantastic through and through. There's mighty fine saw playing on this album that sounds crystal. Meets or exceeds all previous albums by the Haints.


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...
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