While The Haunted Windchimes specialize in sweet harmonies and poetic lyrics that carry on in the vein of traditional folk, blues and gypsy music, there's a rebellious undercurrent that will occasionally surface in their music: "I'll give thanks to the cities, who fed us and kept us clean," they sing on their Live at the Western Jubilee album. "And to hell with all the rest of you, destroying the American Dream." Would you expect anything less from a band whose mid-century idols include Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie?
The Windchimes have grown a lot since Pueblo siblings Inaiah and Chela Lujan, and Colorado Springs ex-pat Desirae Garcia, appeared as a trio on a cover of the Indy back in 2008. They subsequently added two members — Mike Clark and Sean Fanning — then dropped back down to a four-piece when Fanning left last year to start a new band with his brother Aaron. Under the guidance of locally based management company Scott O'Malley & Associates (who also handle Norman Blake and Waddie Mitchell), they've scored a high-profile appearance on A Prairie Home Companion, which has enabled them to quit their day jobs and spend much of their time out on the road.
THE NEXT STAGE
Last month, the Windchimes and their DIY label Blank Tape Records released Live Chimes, Volume 1, which features their first new material since 2012's Out With the Crow CD. While the band had already recorded studio versions of several songs, they decided to set them aside following Fanning's departure. Live Chimes, meanwhile, is expected to be the first in a series, with Blank Tape's Conor Bourgal insisting the group already has enough unrecorded songs to release Volumes 2 through 10.
Second place: Joe Johnson
Third place: Edith Makes a Paper Chain