Their debut album contains a track that tells the tale of a cat tripped out on magic mushrooms. I thought this sounded like a story I wanted to hear, so I delved a little deeper and discovered a band of shack dwellers from Nashville that play some super fine chilled out tunes just perfect for the summer. Ladies and gentleman, meet Ranch Ghost…
We caught up with guitarist and one of the singers from the band, Joshua to get the low down from the ranch…
BM: First up, tell us more about the cat…
RG:Bleu is the tale of a cat. Not just any cat, a cat with a fierce love for the street life of wild nip, the neighbors cherry tomatoes, and door to door loving. Caught in the garden snacking upon the sacred fungi she finds a state of mind beyond her wildest feline dreams. It is there, in that moment she realizes a life dependent upon humans must be abandoned for a true animalistic existence. After peaking around 53rd & 3rd she realizes that she’s quite hungry and rather far from home. Forgetting the epic knowledge she’d thought she gained on the trip, she gave in to the hunger and returned home to the human hand that sets the bowl in front of her nose. “What a dream!” she says to herself. (No animals were harmed in the creation of this tune).”
BM: Cool! So, how did you guys come together?
RG: In Nashville’s skateboard and art scene. We all lived together in a ranch style home on the south side of town. When time and schedules permitted, we played lots of music. It was the perfect environment for creating collaboratively.
BM: Sounds cool. How long ago was that?
RG: Our first rehearsal was in the late summer of 2011 in the apple crate covered bonus room of the ranch. It was sweet, sweaty, & loud.
BM: The ranch sounds great – maybe a bit obvious, but is it where you get your name from?
RG: Yes, 0ur name comes from the experiences & relationships we all acquired while sharing our pretty little ranch home with the extraterrestrial tenants. God save the Ranch!
BM: What with living together in the ranch and all that, you sound like a pretty tight bunch. What would you say was the main thing that you all bonded over?
RG: Thai beat a go go while eating burgers and cleaning up the spaghetti man’s spaghetti splatters.
BM: – ?
BM: Moving back to the music. I pick up more than bit of a garage /psych vibe to your sound; how would you describe it?
RG: Like a cowboy surfing. A wave of punk kids shouting “we are one, like anyone, & who cares!” Like a cattle farmer who calls his cows with “Woo Pig Sooie!!” Sounds like tomorrow, yesterday, & today!
BM: So, a variety of influences then?
RG: The bands that have influenced us most are Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, The Kinks, Hank Williams & his Drifting Cowboys, The Pretty Things, Bob Dylan & the Band, this could get long & include lots of brilliant songwriters like Kevin Ayers, Jim Sullivan, Kris Kristofferson, Woody Guthrie, Nina Simone.. Because they all give you the feels. Feel it!
BM: What about growing up? Was music a big feature of your life?
RG: Yes, my father was the congregational song leader in a southern baptist church in south GA. There was always plenty of singing and whistling around my house. I recall The Animals version of “House of the Rising Sun” being my very favorite. My paw would sing that and “My Girl” by the temptations on a daily basis. I know them both very well.
BM: You just released your debut album, Lookin, this weekend. Can you tell us a bit about it?
RG: The entire record is a projection of thoughts and feelings through the sounds of rock n roll. Each song is its own being and paints its own picture. You won’t find any cookies. We recorded it in the winter of 2013 with Mitch Jones at Little Big Town, here in Nashville. We recorded it again with another producer in town but later came to the conclusion that the original, much grittier versions, were superior for this release.
BM: Are you (Joshua) the main song writer? Or is it more of a collaborative affair?
RG: Andy & I (Joshua) will bring a bit of a tune to the table and we all arrange it to become what you hear. As for the lyrics, Andy and I hash those out.
BM: Was there a kind of sound or feel to the album you were aiming for?
RG: We tried to make it sound like a pissed off bumble bee in a coffee canister, a young buck trotting with joy after falling in love, a bipolar breakdown, flutters of butterfly wings, a rapidly boiling pot of turkey gizzard stew, & a knife in the microwave.
BM: How about the album art? Do you think its an important part of the ‘package’?
RG: Very. That’s why we’ve chosen a piece painted by our great friend Jordan Martin. He is an amazing fellow. Most of the time the art chooses us.
BM: You got a live date coming up soon with Alabama Shakes…
RG: July 15th at the mud island amphitheatre in Memphis, TN
BM: Would you view playing live as equal to or more important than been in the studio?
RG: I believe they are both of equal importance. We’ve exercised our live performance much more recently, but, that’s about to change.
BM: How would you describe your live set?
RG: Transcendental. A ride to zone 4.
BM: What have been your most memorable gigs, good and bad?
RG: Our first gig wasin the summer of 2011, soon after we wrote our first 5 tunes, at a small house in south Nashville called Mt. Swag. It was hot, cramped, & bouncy. Our dear friend Daniel Pujol also played some of his tunes. It was a magic night.
We just threw our record release party and it was by far my favorite show to date. We had Sunseeker & The Clear Plastic Masks share the night with us, tons of our closest friends attended along with a mass of new faces, it was perfect. My least favorite show we’ve ever played was at a burger joint in Midland TX. We told our booking agent we needed some dough to make it home from TX, so he booked us a show at a burger joint.. We made $500 & he is no longer our booking agent.
BM: You mention a couple of bands that you’ve played with, anymore you think we should look out for?
RG: Ornament, Promise land sound, Paperhead. All good tune turners & dear friends.
BM: As for yourselves – You’ve got the debut album out there, what comes next?
RG: We plan to do some touring around the states and beyond, sharing our new record and other new things. Hopefully a European tour!
BM: Do you have a final word, or message for everyone reading?
RG: To be love, love, and let love be.
Stay sweet. Ranch Ghost loves you!
Ranch Ghost debut album ‘Lookin’ is out now on Rough Beast Records.
Ranch Ghost are – Joshua Meadors (guitar, sing song), Andy Ferro (guitar, sing song), Mitch Jones (keys, atmospheric glory), Tanner Lunn (drums), Matt Sharer (bass)