Holy Ghost Tent Revival with Wonky Tonk & The Holiday Ramblers

Thursday • Southgate House Revival

click to enlarge Holy Ghost Tent Revival (Photo: Abby Oliver)
Holy Ghost Tent Revival (Photo: Abby Oliver)

Seven years ago, six like-minded residents of Greensboro, N.C., assembled around the concept of wanting to channel their classic Rock & Roll influences into an acoustic Folk/Jazz/Soul stompathon. The sextet christened its newly minted aggregation with a name that appropriately referenced the members’ similarly slanted musical passions, adrenalized performance style and Saturday-night-meets-Sunday-morning synergy with the audience they hoped to find: Holy Ghost Tent Revival.

Since then, HGTR has unleashed a trio of studio albums (including its 2008 debut, So Long I Screamed, which became the fourth vinyl release from local label Soul Step Records) that swing with the boundless energy of a grade school playground and raise roofs with Amish-barn-building intensity.

Averaging around 150 dates each year, HGTR mixes the swaggering zeal of Squirrel Nut Zippers, the dervish-fueled riot of DeVotchKa and the sweaty-horned rump thump of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, snaked together in a hyper-caffeinated conga line that shivers timbers in a two-block radius and shakes with the unhinged abandon of a drunken ranch hand pissing on an electric fence.

On HGTR’s last album, 2012’s Sweat Like the Old Days, the band focused on the Soul side of its sonic equation, punctuated with the rootsy influence of binge-watching The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s filmed document of The Band’s final concert. Combined with the addition of new members, Sweat reflected an electric uptick in HGTR’s acoustic presentation even as the album’s pace was slightly more subdued than the frenetic Dixieland-on-steroids approach of its earlier work.

With the newer members fully acclimated and a new album reportedly in the works, Holy Ghost Tent Revival is ready to once again test the structural integrity of every venue they enter. Hard hats are optional but recommended.



HOLY GHOST TENT REVIVAL performs at Southgate House Revival on Thursday, May 8. Tickets/more info here .


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