Believe in the Ghost
"The Maine-grown, foot-stompin’ holler-folk quartet create the type of music for which festivals are made." - Boston Globe
"Robustly played, masterful amalgamation of bluegrass, folk, and gospel for the Millennial Generation... The Ghost of Paul Revere prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere." - No Depression
"We grew up listening to Radiohead and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd," says
Griffin Sherry, guitarist/singer in The Ghost Of Paul Revere. "Everyone assumed we were a
bluegrass band because we were playing these traditional instruments, but we weren’t
writing traditional music. We were just writing songs with the instruments we had."
The result is a sound that the Portland, Maine-based band describes as "holler folk," not
because it involves a lot of hollering, per se, but because it invokes the rich communal
tradition of field hollers, with their call-and-response melodies, sing-along hooks, and
densely layered harmonies. That sense of musical camaraderie is essential to everything
The Ghost of Paul Revere does, and nowhere is it more evident than their sophomore
The album builds on the success of the band's 2014 debut full-length, 'Believe,' and their
2015 EP, 'Field Notes Vol. 1,' which was recorded primarily in a single day at Converse's
Rubber Tracks studio in Boston. The session was part of a prize package presented by the
iconic Newport Folk Festival, which had invited the band to perform at the storied Rhode
Island musical gathering earlier that year as part of a lineup featuring everyone from
James Taylor and Jason Isbell to The Lone Bellow and Bela Fleck.
"The Monday before Newport we got a message saying to pack our bags and come on
down," remembers Sherry. "We hadn't played much outside of Maine or started opening for
any big acts yet at that point, and it was a hugely inspiring moment."
Word began to spread about the rowdy pickers from the north. The Boston Globe raved
that they "create the type of music for which festivals are made," while No Depression said
they "prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere," and Dispatch Magazine
wrote that they possess not only "the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and
leave an undeniable impression." Hitting listeners straight in the feelings has been the
band's M.O. since its inception in 2011, and they've used their powerful stage show to
convert the masses at every stop along their long and winding journey, which has included
shared stages with artists like The Avett Brothers, The Travelin' McCourys, Brown Bird, The
Revivalists, the Infamous Stringdusters, and more. The band sold out Port City Music Hall,
Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at
the New England Music Awards, and capped off 2015 with an electrifying headline
performance on New Year's Eve at Portland's State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured
When it came time to record, 'Monarch,' though, the band knew they wanted to push the
sonic envelope beyond the live-in-the-studio setup that had guided their previous efforts.
"Every other record has just been the four of us in a room with microphones until we got a
take we liked," explains Sherry. "We approached this one differently. It was the first time
we did a lot of arranging and writing in the studio. We decided we'd worry about learning
how to present the songs live after we'd recorded everything instead of the other way
"It enabled us to get a lot more adventurous with our ideas," adds bassist/singer Sean
McCarthy. "We wanted to do something new and explore where we could take the sound
while still staying true to who we are."
The album opens with "Little Bird," a playful, infectious foot-stomper that blends blues and
soul and roots and perfectly reflects the communal, inviting nature of the band's music.
Banjo player Max Davis takes over the songwriting and lead vocal duties for "Avalanche," an
emotional anthem featuring one of the album's most lush arrangements along with driving
drums from special guest Tony McNaboe (Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones), while "King's
Road" finds the band expanding their sonic palette to include strings and electric guitar,
and "Honey Please" channels 60's R&B and Motown through old-school folk instrumentation.
At the core of everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, though, are their powerful, stop-
you-dead-in-your-tracks harmonies. On songs like "Wild Child," "Welcome Home," and "Need
Somebody," the band conjures up whole worlds of shimmering sonic beauty in the blending
of their voices.
"The album follows this arc where it starts very bright-eyed and optimistic and then hits a
turning point where it gets really dark," says Sherry, "like a relationship that starts
beautifully and then grows sour. As we started to build the record and expand the sound, it
had a place sonically and emotionally.”
By the end of the record, the song cycle reveals that traveling through the darkness is in
fact a necessary step for positive growth. 'Monarch' closer "Chrysalides" evokes the imagery
of metamorphosis, a transformation that represents rebirth and new beginnings.
"It's about what happens in that moment of metamorphosis and change," says Davis. "I was
interested in combining different words into a new term that could capture that feeling, so
'Chrysalides' is a play on chrysalis. This was one of the first times that I allowed myself to
bite into and really take advantage of that space in the writing."
If there's one takeaway from 'Monarch,' it's that change is inevitable. Lovers, families,
friends, instruments, sounds; they all transform with time. The key to thriving and
surviving in a challenging world is to embrace those transformations, to accept them not as
endings but as fresh starts. What comes next? Only time can tell. One thing's for sure,
though: by opening their hearts and souls with such artistic grace and humility, The Ghost
of Paul Revere have created a rich, rewarding, passionate community, one that they can
count on to join them for every step of the remarkable journey that lies ahead.
"Simply put, this band is one to see live... A gorgeous blend of bluegrass, folk and good old fashioned rock and roll... their performance takes on a boot-clacking brilliance that transforms each song into a full-on participatory event, sending an electric surge about the room that’s near impossible not to feel. Add to that a layered three part harmony coursing through each soulful song, and The Ghost of Paul Revere demonstrated they not only had the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression as well. As the floorboards shook with each pounding stomp, one thing was certain: the band announced they had arrived, loud and clear." - Dispatch Magazine
"Simply put North is an album that shouldn't be missed. (It will) make even the most callous of individuals feel the unbridled joy of Holler-Folk." - Ear to the Ground Music
"A distinguished sound that only seasoned musicians can usually attain" - Portland Press Herald
"(The Ghost of Paul Revere) stole the show. I was so impressed with them. Their harmonies, stomping percussion, and vocal power were stellar... their songs progressed from mellow to powerhouse... their harmonies are superb and their songs have power." - whatbreesees.com
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