The Pine Hill Haints
The Pine Hill Haints’ brand of Alabama holler country might seem, on the surface, to be an odd inclusion on Calvin Johnson’s lo-fi twee-pop heavy label K Records, but a little digging into the band’s sound reveals songsmith Jamie Barrier as a good, uncomplicated pop writer. Keeping things in the dawn of the 20th Century, The Haints’ driving sound is a hootenanny complete with washtub bass, washboard percussion, and singing saw melodies. There are some unfortunate tendencies to turn their ramshackle sound into acoustic versions of Irish punk sing-a-longs (“Garden of the Dead”), but at its best Ghost Dance recalls the rolling rocksteady train rhythm that Johnny Cash made famous (“Spirit of 1812”) or the dust-scored anthologizing of Harry Smith (“Ol’ White Thang Blues”). Not too shabby for the 21st Century.
K Records: www.krecs.com