Ghost of Things to Come
Literate, earthy, and firmly rooted in the nascent Americana genre, on this release Haney crafts songs that explore the dark side of the American South’s psyche. The South, not a geographical location but more a state of mind, is the place where evil deeds reside and regret, yea, even regret and longing follow each person as a shadow does. Throughout this release, characters are faced with choices and admonitions to “turn back,” but instead they remain on the own wayward tracks, chained to their own spiritual inertia with nothing but regret and foreboding to accompany them. This theme is initially laid out on the opening and title track, “Ghost of Things to Come.” Here, the verses all end with the premonition of “He’s a ghost of things to come” and the chorus that countenances “Turn around/Yea man you gotta turn around.”
Several songs later, the theme is picked up again on the track, “Out Last Night,” as the narrator ruminates on a lover who was seen out last night. But was she really, the question remains between the lines? Given the dysfunction of the characters in these songs, it could as well be the narrator’s own insecurities and doubts that dog his step. As the song concludes, we are once again reminded to turn ourselves around: “I turn myself around, but I ain’t alone/I probably should have figured/The rains decided to walk me home/Well I know it ain’t wrong, but it ain’t right/Someone said they saw you last night.”
On this release, Haney demonstrates an imaginative songwriter’s talent, but couples it with a muscular band to drive the music home. Although the songs are literate, this shouldn’t detract from his (and his band’s) considerable skill and musicianship. Altogether, this is a solid accomplishment.