Whether laying down some succulent psychotropic hip-hop as DJ Flow Nase, feeding off of severely distorted barre chords with the riff-heavy punk band A Poor Substitute, or lending distinctive vocal abilities to the peculiar and hypnotic "funeral pop" band The Mexican, Pueblo's Inaiah Lujan is plainly a restless soul.
Nowhere is this more apparent than with his latest, and currently his most time-consuming, project, The Haunted Windchimes, the group he started with his musical soulmate, vocalist Desirae Garcia, shortly after their first chance encounter and a simple conversation about ghosts.
Through the static of the Colorado phone lines, their bio explains, The Haunted Windchimes took form through the ghost towns of the mind, where the music is of the haunting kind.
Not since the infamously troubled troubadour Gram Parsons collaboration with Emmylou Harris, or the legendary duets of Johnny Cash and June Carter, has there been a more evocative, magnetic and captivating folk duo. Seriously.
Soft-spoken, polite and genuine nearly to a fault, the Windchimes spent the majority of last summer traveling from coast to coast, from street corners, record stores and coffeehouses to house parties, taverns and abandoned grocery stores, drifting wherever their road-worn and restless souls told them to go ... even Hawaii.
Now, it's a long way, both physically and metaphorically speaking, from Pueblo to Oahu. And I doubt many bands ever make the trip. But the Windchimes made their way there and thankfully so, for they got together with Pierre Grill, Hawaii's Mad Genius Producer, who recorded, helped conceptualize and lent his impressive accordion and piano talents to the instantly unforgettable four-song EP Verse Visa.
With equal gravity, and gravitas, to the captivating country gospel of West Texas, the paralyzing deep Southern blues of the Mississippi Delta, the up-tempo, get-up-and-go of turn-of-the-century ragtime, and the intense yearning and heartache of the traditional mariachi ballads of the Mexican revolution, Verse Visa, the groups third self-produced release, carves an absurdly original, yet remarkably familiar, path through the deepest recesses of North American folk music.
The Windchimes who recently added talented singer-songwriter Chela Lujan are, beyond a reasonable doubt, one of Colorado's most significant musical treasures. That said, check out myspace.com/thehauntedwindchimes for downloads, show information, links to their other projects and many more beautiful images.
In other news, with sadness in our hearts, we say goodbye to Walter Chase, who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. His prowess on the bass guitar could be heard with such groups as Joanne Taylor's Rhythm Review, Smokin Joe & the Mighty Burners, Bijou Street Blues Band, Ricky & the Realtors and, of course, the Mike Nelson Band. Walter was also instrumental in bringing Ronald McDonald House to Colorado Springs, for which countless folks are grateful.
Until next week, fare thee well, and smell thee later!