In the world we know, the rule is always ‘the bigger the better’- bigger paychecks, better cars, music the more loud and grandiose, the more people will listen to it. Amidst this pop-culture phenomenon though you will find the occasional band who decides to strip all the synthetic fluff away to expose the pure, raw musical heart of the matter. The Ghost of Paul Revere is one such band.
Made up of longtime friends with an uncanny ability to harmonize, Griffin Sherry, Max Davis, and Sean McCarthy join up with Matt Baker and Matthew Young to form a band in a genre all of their own. Describing their music as “Holler Folk”, they combine elements of bluegrass, rock, Americana, and a secret ingredient which I am suspecting may be love. Not a traditional romantic love, mind you, but more like a passion for what they do and who they are. Evoking feelings of sitting around a campfire with friends, or curling up under a blanket on a chilly day, you are bound to fall for the charisma with which they write and perform.
I had the chance to talk to Griffin about what they do best and this is what I learned:
CK: So, The Ghost of Paul Revere, that’s a pretty cool name, how’d you come up with it?
GS:I woke up and immediately wrote it down a few years back. I tried it in a few incarnations, but it never took to anything. When we started up the group, it fit so well that we didn’t consider anything else.
CK: I have heard that you call your music “Holler Folk”. Tell us what you mean.
GS: People were asking us what type of music we were playing and we couldn’t give them a definitive answer. So we started calling it Holler Folk. Its our way of defining the type of vocal driven, energetic, ostensibly traditional music that we love to play.
CK: Did you automatically know you wanted to make that kind of music? I mean, why aren’t you making Dubstep, for instance?
GS: It was never our goal to sound a particular way or play specific instruments, we all just brought what we had to the table. It can be limiting to play a group of instruments with such an iconic sound. We are not bluegrass musicians, and we don’t pretend to be. We write and perform music that is true to ourselves, and try not to worry about anything else.
CK: Would you claim that any band(s)/singer(s) are responsible for influencing your style?
GS: Not one in particular, our tastes tend to run the gamut. It seems to be everything from the Zombies to John Fahey.
CK:What’s your creative process? Do you write the music or lyrics first?
GS: For me it varies. Every song has its own identity and therefore is approached individually. Often its the melody that comes first, because there can be so much emotion found there. Sometimes, though, a phrase or even a single word will pop into your head and you just have to follow it where it leads
CK: Every writer has their muse. What’s yours?
GS: Can’t say I’ve found her. Heartbreak and Whiskey work well though.
CK: Some bands are very vocal about just making music for themselves and for the art- others have Big City Dreams. Where would you say The Ghost of Paul Revere falls?
GS: I think we fall in the middle. We certainly want to be successful, and want to take the Ghost as far as it can go, but we also are not willing to compromise the music we make. Our songs are our voices, it wouldn’t seem right to allow someone else to speak for us. I hope that is the reason our songs have resonated with so many people. We always try to play with all of our available conviction and intensity. Plus, I was never very good at ventriloquism.
CK: You have already put out a 6-song EP entitled ‘North’- which is great. Are you working on anything currently?
GS: We are starting to work on a full length that will be recorded by Fall 2013
CK: Portland, Maine is fairly well-known for its eclectic arts scene. That being said, have you found people supportive of your music?
GS: Extremely. We’re so thankful for all the amazing people who have begun to believe in the Ghost the way we do.
CK: Okay, imagine you had only a few minutes to live and this was your one chance to say something to the world… What would you want to say?
GS: “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Watch a video for arguably my favorite song of theirs, ‘San Antone’, made by Twine St. Transmission, below. And for more information about the band and their music, visit them at www.ghostofpaulrevere.com or find them on Bandcamp and Reverbnation.
Much love, everyone,