Have I ever mentioned that I am absolutely in love with the Haunted Windchimes — the band, the songs, the members, the artwork, everything about them? They are truly a world-class band, and I will not rest until the whole world knows it. Did you hear that, "National Music Press?" I am calling you out! This is it, "American folk music, 2010," at its finest. Now grab the damn baton, already!
But seriously, I've been listening to my autographed "Advanced Promotional Copy" of their brand-new album, Honey Moonshine, for the better part of the past three days, and with all the nerves and giddy anticipation of a schoolyard brat with his puppy stuffed in a box at show-and-tell, I am honored to be the first to report on its absolute brilliance. Superbly understated, it's every bit as enticing, radiant and sweetly intoxicating as the home-brewed spirit the album was named after.
Be careful. Do not underestimate its potency. It will creep up on you. And much like the famous Prohibitionists' creed, first you play the album, but before you know it, the album is playing you.
Not to overshadow the quality of craftsmanship, or the expert delivery of the songs themselves, but much credit should go to Mr. Butch Hause and the Western Jubilee Warehouse recording studio family, which took the young band under their unequivocally talented wings.
"Butch was amazing," says founding member and lead male vocalist Inaiah Lujan. "He would trick us all the time. We'd start getting a little nervous and over-thinking takes and he'd say, 'Let's just do a dry run and we won't record it.' And when we'd get done, he would be like, 'That sounded great, we got it! That's the one that's going on the album.'"
Inaiah, who leads the group with his guitar and vocals, gladly shares the spotlight (and songwriting duties) with his lovely girlfriend, and dare I say "soulmate," Desirae Garcia (baritone ukelele, vocals), his sister Chela Lujan (banjo, vocals) and their recent adoptees: Sean Fanning (stand-up bass, ukelele) and Mike Clark (guitar, mandolin, harmonica) of Jack Trades fame. All together, they are a musical force that hasn't been felt, least 'round these parts, I can only assume, for decades.
Honey Moonshine is set for release this Saturday, March 20, with a "gala"-style performance at Stargazers Theater, formerly (and again for just this one evening) the Colorado Opry Hall (10 S. Parkside Drive). Tickets for the show are just $10, but for an extra $10 you get a copy of the CD, too. Music starts at 8, with Joe Johnson followed by Changing Colors. For more information on the album, the show, or the band's forthcoming national tour, visit hauntedwindchimes.com.
In punkier news, on Friday, March 19, the Black Sheep will "chaperone" a regional all-ages punk-rock showcase. "Your Night in Chaos" will feature local ska/punk staple Murder Hat alongside the punk scene rookies in Fire Aweigh and veteran punk rock soldiers One Fifty One from Pueblo. Also on the bill, coming all the way from Colorado City, are those "small town boys making big town music," Ideal Citizens. Under 21 is just $8, but legally sanctioned "medical alcohol" licensees, otherwise known as adults, get in for $5. More information at blacksheeprocks.com.
That's all the Reverb for this week, kids. Smell you next time!
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