Haunted House
Blue Ghost Blues
Northern Spy NSPLP-012

First ever studio recording for this semi-mythical group led by guitarist Loren Connors and featuring Suzanne Langille on vocals, Neel Murgai on percussion and Andrew Burnes on second guitar. Previous to this release, Haunted House’s discography consisted of a sole live album, Up In Flames, that came out in 1999 but that pretty much fulfilled many a fanboy fantasy of hearing Connors’ Venusian electric guitar in the context of a raging full-on free psych/blues group setting. Over the years the group only played a few shows in the New York area before eventually drifting apart due to guitarist Andrew Burnes relocation across the country so this staggering out-of-the-blue new series of recordings is nothing short of a goddamn treat. Connors really lets his guitar sing, playing in an epic fuzzed-out style that is truly momentous, with Burnes cutting through his endless navigations of free form with scything triumphal melodies. Langille’s vocals are possessed of the perfect post-Patty space whisper and she uses it to devastating instrumental effect, now touching on Diamanda Galas-esque peaks of epiglottal hysteria, now channelling spectral blues stylings while chasing the arc of Connors’ sighing single note melodies. Murgai’s contribution is central; he powers the group with the kind of euphoric martial energy of Klaus Schulze, further bolstering the deep Kraut feel of some of the material and underlining aspects of the first titanic Ash Ra Tempel album. Of course Connors style and tone is instantly recognisable and he immediately becomes the center of gravity in whatever situation he’s put in but here he really steps out into some epic string-burn giving the group the feel of Fushitsusha at their most blues-reverent, with a guitar sound that is straight out of Double Live. All the tracks are group compositions except for their startling take on Lonnie Johnson’s “Blue Ghost Blues” aka “Haunted House” that sounds like nothing else this side of Black Blues. Pretty much a dream date: one of the greatest guitarists of the modern age playing w/his vocal shadow as part of a group that are capable of navigating the furthest vectors of form while retaining an alien umbilical that runs all the way back to the source. Psychedelic blues never sounded so personally explosive. 150g vinyl with download. Highly recommended!