Much has been written about Ghost Light since its five acclaimed members joined forces to create a new band and album a year and a half ago.
On Friday night at Deep Ellum Art Co., pianist Holly Bowling, guitarist Tom Hamilton (American Babies/JRAD), guitarist Raina Mullen (American Babies), bassist Dan Africano and drummer Scotty Zwang (Dopapod/RAQ) proved they are more than worthy of the media attention and fan buzz.
Friday’s performance was the band’s first outing in Dallas, coming two weeks after the release of Ghost Light’s debut album, Best Kept Secrets.
The enthusiastic and curious fans at DEAC gave Ghost Light permission to stretch out, and the band did. Breezing right past a few rough notes early on, the band carried the room from mindful, gentle lows to chaotic, intense furors before pushing through to what euphoria sounds like on five instruments.
Ghost Light is more forceful with the dynamics of its sound than probably any act to hit the jamband scene since Grammy-winners Infamous Stringdusters emerged 12 years ago. But Ghost Light also brings an enormous variety of influences to the stage, too. Its music is a mesmerizing stew of styles and sounds, with precise, Allman Brothers-style “guitarmonies;” driving, experiential jams; post-punk vocal stylings; and compositions big enough to serve as classic Western film scores. The members push the envelope in all the best (and most surprising) ways, frequently juxtaposing several of those styles within the same melody for a shockingly satisfying result.
Like a well-written story, each song took the audience on a thrilling aural and emotional journey — ranging from peace to rage and everything in between.
It was a helluva ride.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the bassist for Ghost Light.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.