Friday, September 4, 2015

Jesse - Hauntings

Jesse Herrin, the mastermind behind the debut album Hauntings has been at the helm of the Waycross, GA music scene for some time. Although I just found out about him through the doom metal label Twin Earth Records, a little research leads me to the verdict that Jesse is a very well accomplished musician and songwriter, with Hauntings being a true testament to that fact. Quoting from his band’s Facebook profile a brief background reads, “As the sole proprietor/producer/engineer of Hickory Wind Recording Studio, he has put his mark on many recordings by talented Waycross artists through the years. The son of Billy Ray Herrin, published songwriter with The Lowery Group and Sony/Tree, Jesse has grown up listening and learning how to write a good song.” –Dave Griffin

Jesse injects a little bit of everything that I love about the alternative/Americana scene particularly among fans of both heavy rock and country. The first three songs exhibit 3 completely different angles of Americana/Folk/singer songwriter and the process repeats throughout. Idumea kicks off the album with a particularly haunting vibe. A somber tone glides along to a graceful and charming atmospheric melody while an eerie resonance builds the anticipation for the rest of the album. Pills are the Devil sounds like it could have come off a Hank III or Old Crow Medicine Show album with its deep southern twang set to hooky drinking and drugging theme. Further Down in Time unleashes a full fledge Neil Young worship, with soaring pedals of the steel guitar, gentle plucks of the banjo, and mournful croons of Jesse's voice. Gentle flares of elegance sweep the airwaves while the cosmic Americana spirit infects the mind body and soul. 

Calling this Folk is an understatement, Americana is cutting the band short, and southern rock is just the cornerstone to Jesse's psychedelic journey through the Georgian fields. Outlaw country could be considered an apt description; however the spooky atmospherics and towering emotion upgrade Hauntings to flat out Epic Status. Whatever way you dice it, Jesse is a faultless album spanning multiple genres, sure to lasso the attention of a diverse group of seasoned and tasteful fans. Bottom line, if you like this album you have damn good taste!

The title track Haunting cuts deep, seamlessly transitioning from a backwoods folky twang into a ghostly chorus line echoing within the winds of despair. The closing lines strike a nerve and chills to the bone, "….The only thing for sure when I’m long gone will be the sound of the chisel on the stone, and my name will remain…."

The album does not let up and maintains a motley pace. To Be Found highlights the album nearing its midpoint gaining comparisons to the greats such as Young, Gram Parsons and modern all-stars such as Jason Isbell and Brett Detar. There are even mild stints of electronic rhythm displayed on Colder Nights that could fit in on the stellar Drive soundtrack. L.I.G. highlights the angelic tones of backing singer Amanda Taylor whose duet with Jesse is stoked by a blazing steel guitar lick hot enough to light my fire at the pearly gates of heaven, while Nothing More to Say exhibits a foot stomping boogie serving anthem to the surf rock spirit of the south. Fought to Feel closes down the record with a 50's pop melody reminiscing a Buddy Holly dance number with a classic country resonance.

The entire album sustains an electrifying tone throughout all 13 tracks. As an avid listener of each stoner rock, doom metal, psychedelic blues, classic country and Americana I find Hauntings firing a torch under each of the high octane genre cylinders. Neither metal nor heavy psychedelic blues rock by any physical means, there's a spiritual kinship amongst the genres expressed via the Americana outlet. I urge the general public to check this man’s project out, which also features a loaded cast of musicians within its diversified approach. 

-The Huntsman

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