HOLY GHOST BUILDING
2008 Lo-Fidelity Records
Review by: Steve Ruff
The 77’s are a cornerstone in the music that has defined my generation. They have a catalogue that is as varied as it is long. My introduction to them was way back in 1990 with the alternative offering “Sticks and Stones. This newest album “Holy Ghost Building” is the 14th album to be released since “Sticks and Stones”, and is to date, probably my favorite album.
This album is return to fine form with the guys in the band bringing not only an amazing collection of new cover songs, but a new sound as well. While rock and blues have been a staple of their sound for some time, this album brings in a couple of other distinct flavors such as folk, slide guitar and according to their website some “Byrds-era jangle electric 12 string”. This album was recorded much in the same way as the pioneers like Elvis, Cash and those guys did their early albums. According to lead singer Michael Roe, “ Those guys would choose a song, play through it to get the feel and arrangement, and while it was all fresh they would just roll the tape.” “That’s how you ended up with records like the ones I loved as a kid, and this one’s got that sound and feeling”.
The process works well on this album. It is a new direction musically for the band, but the sound fits perfectly with the songs that were chosen. Older blues, bluegrass and gospel songs were picked for this album. There are a total of eleven tracks here, all done just the way only this band could. My favorite tracks would be, “Stranger Won’t You Change Your Sinful Ways”, “What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul”, and “I’m Gonna Run To The City Of Refuge”.
My tastes in music seem to change a bit as I change, I’m not sure if that’s just that I’m getting older or if I am just beginning to realize the styles of music that everything flows from. I’m not sure what it is, but I know this album is fantastic and one that you need to hear if you haven’t already. Check out : http://www.77s.com or http://www.lo-fidelity.com/store.html for ordering options.