In my humble opinion, alt-country is becoming more popular, and deservedly so.
Growing up in the South, yet not a redneck, I have a special and personal hatred of country music. When it’s not whiny and trite, it’s over the top patriotic; and sometimes it’s all of the above. In an attempt to be more dramatic it has lost anything resembling real emotion. I love old country that was more sincere and folksy, while singing about the blues and hardships of life found in rural areas.
As an example, Hank Williams was great, Hank Williams Jr. on the other hand, should be raped by a 300lb linebacker while listening to a recording of “Are You Ready for Some Football.” However, with the re-discovery of Johnny Cash by a new generation, that old-time country music is seeing a resurgence. With that, there are now more bands out there blending rock with country and doing a damn fine job of it.
Ghost Buffalo is set to become one of Denver’s foremost alt-country bands with the release of their self-titled album. When I first laid eyes on lead singer Marie Litton, I wondered how such a large and beautiful voice came from such a small frame. As a matter of fact, I still wonder about it.
I’ve been playing their album almost constantly for the last several days, partly because I like it, but also because I have been enjoying people’s reactions when I play it in my store (Rare Bird). First of all, people like it. They also think that they’ve heard it before or mistake it for the work of a more famous act. These things bode well for the future of Ghost Buffalo.
The songs on the album vary from up-tempo to the slow, dark “Crows Feet,” containing lyrics that tell a story, where the storyteller can hit some very impressive high notes. The most surprising part is that this local act has put together a stronger album than most of the national acts I review. Marie does have a beautiful voice, which is laid over the twang from several guitars, as if Lucero were fronted by a woman.
Support your local musicians, but also do yourself a favor by checking out Ghost Buffalo, because they may soon be too big for the 15th Street Tavern.