Artist: The Prairie Ghosts
The Prairie Ghosts are something to behold -- a thing of beauty, even. While a number of songs on Habit are night blues, it's the unexpectedly chill daytime road trip feeling we get from songs like "Rust," "Habit" and "Devil Dance" that capitalize on the Prairie Ghosts' beautifully-toned electric guitar and fascinating organ/bass lines.
It's this truly American brand of song-craft that sets the tone for lyrical highlights such as "Now it's time to move on / But I can't say I don't love her / There's only one thing that helps me / That I have discovered / Ain't gonna pick up the pieces / I'll just leave them behind." (Usually their lyrics are a study in contrasts: "I've got the motive, baby / you've got the means"; "You heard what I said / but not what I think"; "You give me what I want / but not what I need"; and the entire hook of "Rust.")
Luckily, whether the music runs dark or light, Michael Shehan's richly textured baritone carries compelling songs that, like the band, are built to last. Notably, a song like "Vagabondage" hints at a potential that's even more complex and alluring -- rarely is such musical sophistication heard in a genre known for song titles that include "vagabond" and "bondage" or, as here, both ("Vagabondage"). Perhaps unlike that song title then, The Prairie Ghosts are aptly named, and as good as they come.
*** The author of this review, Gerald Richardson, plays the tof for the following band: http://youtu.be/tMS73-1kCr8