This article originally appeared in the Kentucky Kernel.
Since 2007 the jazzy, soulful southern rock concoction of music that is Holy Ghost Tent Revival has trekked countless miles across the southeast, and while the band’s lineup has shifted over the years their commitment to their musical craft hasn’t suffered a bit.
The core members of Holy Ghost Tent Revival met while pursuing degrees at Greensboro College in North Carolina, and have always been a big band consisting of six or seven players. The band’s current lineup is Stephen Murray, Dulci Ellenberger, Kevin Williams, Matt Martin, Hank Widmer, Charlie Humphrey and Ross Montsinger, with Ellenberger joining the group nearly two years ago around the time the group relocated to Asheville.
According to Ellenberger, in her time since joining the band, the group hasn’t missed a beat, gelling immediately both live and in the studio.
“We’ve really been honing in on our sound together over the past couple of years and it’s begun to get very focused and tight,” Ellenberger said. “We feel like we have the album of our dreams even before we’ve put it out.”
Per Ellenberger, the group is currently putting the finishing touches on their newest album, which they hope to have in the hands of their fans soon. The band recorded at several locations for the compilation, including La La Land in Louisville and at a friend’s bed and breakfast in Bat Cave, North Carolina. The group also had sessions in west Asheville in the home studio of Daniel Shearin, bassist for the band River Whyless and producer of the record.
Currently, a release date for the record is unknown as the group weighs whether to do another independent release or seek out distribution help via a record label. Regardless, Ellenberger says to expect the band’s most polished album to date once it drops, adding that this record felt special even while they were laying it down in studio.
“This time (in the studio) was so fun,” Ellenberger said. “We did a lot live together in the same room. That in my experience is so rare to do, plugged in together and getting usable takes. Usually that’s a time-consuming process and one person isn’t happy with one note. Being able to do all that live felt really magical.”
After spending all winter finishing up their record and getting to better know one another, they’re ready to get on the road and share what they’ve been working on with fans. Holy Ghost Tent Revival’s upcoming show in Lexington is the first of a week-and-a-half long tour across the southeast, and their first shows of 2017. While the band’s collective relationship is important to their craft, Ellenberger stresses that so is their relationship with their audience.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship between the musicians the the audience,” Ellenberger said. “That’s what keeps us alive, it’s our breath. The energy we exchange is what keep us going, and it’s very tangible when the rest of the world seems as if it’s out of control.”
IF YOU GO
What: Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Go Rounds, Home Grown Head Band
When: Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Where: The Burl
Tickets: $10, 18+