Ghost Light Lives Up to Its Hype With Wide Range of Styles and Sounds

Ghost Light performed at Deep Ellum Art Co.EXPAND
Ghost Light performed at Deep Ellum Art Co.
Andrew Sherman of Drewlio Photo
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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.

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