The Midnight Ghost Train Announce Six-Week US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

When The Midnight Ghost Train go on tour, they stay on tour. Still in support of last year’s raging blues rocker Buffalo, the unhinged Kansas-based trio will hit the road once again starting this week. The band played Roadburn this Spring as part of a European run, and in addition to currently working on new material, they’ll also have a live record out of that performance come September, which is pretty much also how long this US tour is set to last. Go figure.

Knowledge is power trio:

THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN Announces U.S. Headlining Tour in Support of New LP “Buffalo”

Powerful, High-Caliber Rock Band Set to Barnstorm the U.S. on Massive, Six Week Cross Country Tour

Utterly unique Topeka, Kansas based HEAVY rock band THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN will launch a U.S. headlining tour in support of its sophomore LP Buffalo on July 18 at the Downtown Music Hall in Little Rock, Arkansas. Boasting a gargantuan sound that has been described as “ZZ Top trampled by mammoths” and “like the great depression era blues shouter Blind Willie Johnson, if he had fronted the ’60s San Francisco band Blue Cheer at their sludgiest,” THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN’s epic live shows are “intense and real” and an uplifting cure-all for fans or critics that may feel rock music has lost its “edge”. The 34 city trek will run through September 7, showcasing a trio that has averaged over 300 live shows per year since its formation in 2007.

A phenomenal band who has the wind behind their backs and momentum on their side, THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN (aka TMGT) transcends geography, generation and genre. With a name inspired by an old Hank Williams lyric and a live show that hits with adamantine force, TMGT is led by guitarist Steve Moss, whose gruff-throated, Tom Waits-like vocals, gloriously fuzzy tone and unbridled, wailing guitar solos combine to deliver an entirely new form of musical power and intensity. With literally thousands of live shows under their collective belt — including 13 U.S. tours (both solo and alongside acts such as Jucifer and Truckfighters) and 3 full European jaunts — the band has developed a strong reputation for blowing the doors off every venue in which they perform, leaving a whole new contingent of music fans awestruck and hungry for more with each and every show. THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN isn’t just a band you hear, it’s something you feel deep down. Its pulse affects you.

Released in 2012 via Karate Body Records, Buffalo was recorded with producer / engineer David Barbe (Harvey Milk, Son Volt, Drive-By Truckers) and has met to shining critical acclaim in the time since its release; hailed for its soul, energy and thick Mississippi Delta-rooted Rock ‘N’ Roll. Dark, heavy blues is as much an influence on TMGT’s sound as rock/metal, but it’s also seriously head bang-able with loads of densely-packed furry riffage, heavy/quiet tradeoffs and memorable hooks. The record also contains a re-imagined cover of Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s 1940 classic “Cotton Fields”.

MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN tour dates:
July 18 Little Rock, AR Downtown Music Hall
July 19 Lafayette, LA The Wild Salmon Bar & Grill
July 20 Ocean Springs, MS The Squeaky Lizard
July 21 Pensacola, FL The Handlebar
July 22 Valdosta, GA Ashley Street Station
July 24 Charleston, SC The Mill
July 25 Fayetteville, NC Black Cat Lounge
July 26 Frederick, MD Guido’s Speakeasy
July 27 Indianapolis, IN Indy’s Jukebox
July 28 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class
July 30 Akron, OH Annabell’s Bar and Lounge
July 31 Dayton, OH Therapy Cafe
August 1 Chicago, IL Reggie’s Music Joint
August 2 Green Bay, WI Crunchy Frog
August 3 La Crosse, WI JB’s Speakeasy
August 7 Billings, MT Shooters Bar
August 8 Great Falls, MT Machinery Row
August 10 Spokane, WA The Hop
August 11 Seattle, WA Victory Lounge
August 14 Red Bluff, CA The End Up Saloon
August 15 Fresno, CA Audie’s Olympic
August 18 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
August 19 Fort Collins, CO Surfside 7
August 22 Denver, CO Tennyson’s Tap
August 23 McCook, NE Sports
August 24 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory-OKC
August 26 Midland, TX The Blue Max
August 27 Austin, TX The Legendary White Swan
August 29 Monroe, LA Oaks Bar & Grille
August 30 Jackson, MS Sam’s Lounge
August 31 Birmingham, AL The Nick
September 4 Lexington, KY Green Lantern
September 7 Warrensburg, MO Bottomfeeder Bay

As part of its European headlining tour last spring, THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN delivered a jaw-dropping live performance as part of the hallowed Roadburn international rock festival. This week, it was announced that the fest’s record label, Roadburn Records will release TMGT’s full live set from the festival on both LP and CD this September as part of its popular “Live From Roadburn” series.

The Midnight Ghost Train, Buffalo (2012)

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The Midnight Ghost Train Winter Tour 2012 Starts Nov. 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 20th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Note they call this one the “Winter Tour 2012.” One can only assume that’s as opposed to The Midnight Ghost Train‘s Winter Tour 2013, which will probably see the band take off two minutes after New Year’s and only stop in time for their Spring Tour 2013. The Midnight Ghost Train tour a lot, is the point I’m making.

And good for them, as their hard work has seen them added to next year’s Roadburn (part of the Spring tour, no doubt; announcement here), and their 2012 outing, Buffalo (stream it below), will give them no shortage of kickass songs to play there. In the meantime, here are the Winter Tour dates:

The Midnight Ghost Train Winter Tour 2012

Nov 29 Green Lantern Lexington, KY
Nov 30 Ultra Lounge Chicago, IL
Dec 1 Southgate House Newport, KY
Dec 2 Brass Rail Fort Wayne, IN
Dec 4 Pegasus Records Florence, AL
Dec 5 Squeaky Lizard Ocean Springs, MS
Dec 6 Twist Of Lime Metairie, LA
Dec 7 Tsunami Monroe, LA
Dec 8 Beer Land Austin, TX
Dec 9 Jakes Downtown Tulsa, OK

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Visual Evidence: The Midnight Ghost Train Silkscreen Posters on the Back of PBR Boxes

Posted in Visual Evidence on July 30th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

This one was too cool not to post. Topeka, Kansas, heavy as hell trio The Midnight Ghost Train are once again hitting the road in support of their new album, Buffalo (review here). To promote their Aug. 9 Brooklyn gig with Reign of Zaius and Eidetic Seeing, the band has silkscreened posters onto the backs of PBR boxes. Even as someone who doesn’t drink the beer, I think that’s pretty clever. Click to enlarge:

Check out the full list of The Midnight Ghost Train tour dates (including European shows this fall) at their website.

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The Debate Rages: Tittyhawk vs. the Ass-Volcano

Posted in The Debate Rages on October 6th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

They’re both obviously classic heavy rock records. British outfit Atomic Rooster released their first album, Atomic Roooster (with the extra ‘o’), in 1970, and Aussie proto-doomers Buffalo unleashed Volcanic Rock three years later. If you’re standing in a store, and the two of them are there on the shelf in front of you, there’s no decision. You buy both.

But what I’m curious about in this new feature (that I hope will be a series from here on out, depending on the reaction/response it gets) is the artwork. Atomic Roooster and Volcanic Rock have some of the most ridiculous artwork ever put on a vinyl sleeve.

The first is a hawk trapped in a glass cube that inexplicably has breasts — and what’s up with that chair in the corner? — and the latter it what looks like a skull-faced neuter from Dragon Ball Z holding a giant penis over his head as he stands atop a giant volcano that turns out on the second half of the gatefold to be a woman’s ass and what may or may not be menstrual lava.

Each astounds in how little sense it makes, so I put it to you — which is the better cover?

Atomic Rooster, Atomic Roooster (1970)

or Buffalo, Volcanic Rock (1973)

Click either to enlarge the image, and leave your vote in the comments.

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Buried Treasure Gets Trampled by Buffalo

Posted in Buried Treasure on July 8th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Wow. I guess if you don’t read this site regularly, that headline makes no fucking sense whatsoever. So be it. Mysterious headlines are totally tr00 kvlt.

Aussie rockers Buffalo issued one of the great underground classics of the heavy ’70s in the form of 1973’s Volcanic Rock. They were never huge in their day, they put out a couple records and lost members, put out a couple more records, and then broke up. Pretty much the story of every band ever. But if you’re a fan of early Black Sabbath and you don’t check out Volcanic Rock, you’re missing out.

It’s another one of those records that I’d had my eye on for what feels like an eternity before I finally gave in and picked it up from eBay. The version I got — a silver-disc in a full jewel case with professionally printed artwork — is nonetheless almost certainly a bootleg. There’s no label information on any of the art, but the disc says “SM The CD Label” and lists its country of origin as West Germany. Cold War boots. Awesome.

Whatever. Unlike every other edition of Volcanic Rock I could find in the wide intertubular expanse, this one was reasonably priced, so no regrets. It’s hard to pick a favorite track among the five killer bluesy, heavy riffing cuts, but I think “Freedom” might just be it. The bassline is too awesome to go ignored, and though opener “Sunrise (Come My Way)” is catchy, the preaching in “The Prophet” is top notch and the riff from “Shylock” is so “Symptom of the Universe” it makes my head want to explode that I didn’t buy this record sooner, there’s a doomed groove to “Freedom” that trumps all.

In the long run, Buffalo‘s second album is probably more known for its artwork — the skull-faced androgyne on top of a lava-menstruating volcano holding aloft a penis-shaped rock — than the music itself, but these songs flat-out rule. I’m glad as hell that I didn’t make a heavy ’70s podcast before picking this one up. Good shit, highly recommended for riff historians and those who, like me, weren’t there the first time around.

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Frydee Buffalo

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 19th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

Forget it, I’m out.

I’ve started three other articles since that Zed review below and they, like that review, all sucked, so I’m punching out early for the weekend. It’s a beautiful day anyway, so I’m going to go try and enjoy it. Thanks to the over 1,200 people who came here yesterday, topping even Wednesday’s numbers. I’ll be back Monday with hopefully a more productive disposition.

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The Midnight Ghost Train Rides Again

Posted in Reviews on December 29th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Maybe it’s the image in my head of Kansas flatland stretching to the horizon and then some, but there’s something isolated about the widely varied tracks on the self-titled, self-released full-length debut from The Midnight Ghost Train. As though, despite the amount of low-key touring the band has done, they still can’t escape their nestled-in geography. This is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly as the band — a duo on the record who since have added bassist Will Shumate and relocated from their original home in Buffalo, NY — incorporates lonely and blues-laden acoustics with their densely-packed furry riffage.

The Midnight Ghost Train is led by guitarist/vocalist Steve Moss (he plays bass on the record too). Brandon Burghart handles the drums here since joining following the excellent The Johnny Boy EP, and there are a slew of guests throughout. The dramatic “Desert Red” is made all the more so by violin and cello contributions, and former drummer Jake Levin sings a gruff lead vocal on “Mustache.” Levin is one of three guest vocalists — Joseph Hester shows up on “Desert Red” and Edward Jackson adds backup for “They’re Burying Me Alive” — and although it would be easy to read this as a lack of confidence on the part of Moss as a singer, the vibe The Midnight Ghost Train gives off isn’t so much that as it is simply wanting to change things up. Moss shows himself capable of handling Fallon-esque throaty preaching on “The Swell” and a more subdued, near Cisneros-style on “River Silt.” No perceivable insecurity there.

Read more »

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Catch The Midnight Ghost Train. No, Seriously. Do it.

Posted in Reviews on June 29th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

One assumes this is Johnny Boy. Maybe, maybe not.Someone needs to sign this band. Today.

Every now and then you find an unsigned band who make it all worthwhile, and that?s how I feel about Buffalo?s The Midnight Ghost Train. Not only are they self-financing a full month-long US tour, but their bluesy, boozy, diverse six-track The Johnny Boy EP — which is actually about 50 minutes long — is pushing the stoner envelope with a sound as natural as it is brazen.

A trio featuring Steve Moss on guitar and vocals, Keith Harry-Carey on bass (since replaced by O.D. Lallo of L.O.M.F. and formerly Negative Reaction) and drummer Jake Levin (since replaced by Brandon Burghart), also on piano, The Midnight Ghost Train are one of those bands who actually deliver when you say, ?Wow, I sure hope there?s a harmonica on this song.? The Johnny Boy EP opener ?Brothers? gets moving with a driving riff and the memorable, charming lyric, ?I?m in love with a new girl every week.? Moss? vocal has a very stoner rock rough edge, and on the softer, longer, more atmospheric ?Stranger? he seems to have taken a diction cue from Eric Wagner?s later work in Trouble. Not a bad thing since it works coupled with the echoing, bluesy guitar.

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Hey, Brand New Sin: Point Taken

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Maybe if you'd stood up for the press photo you'd still be in the band. Ever think about that? Probably not. Too busy with that job and making babies.Alright, alright, enough already, Brand New Sin. First you got rid of Brian “Slider” Azzoto and that was a total mistake because, as everyone knows, your band is never gonna get anywhere if you’ve got a 300 pound guitarist and then you get rid of him. It’s band law, look it up.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, vocalist Joe Altier (no slouch in the beer-gut department himself), who had what might still be the best “Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!!!” in all of heavy metal — we’re talking Howard Dean-esque intensity — was sent packing and replaced with… Joe Sweet? Really?

And now he’s gone too? Well guys, I finally get the point. All you had to do was ask. Yes, I will drive six hours up to Buffalo and come sing for you. I will be your Brand New Sin-ger.

[Cleverness quota: Met.]

In his defense, Mr. Sweet is headed for a second round of fatherhood and has — gasp! — a real job. Can’t hold that against him. What led guitarist Kenny Dunham to also quit is anyone’s guess. According to Blabbermouth, it’s the age-old pursuit of “Other interests.” Interests like not being in Brand New Sin. Maybe he just got a new HDTV and wants to catch up on Law and Order: SVU. I can respect that.

Oh wait, your guitarist, Kris Wiechmann, is taking over lead vocals. Missed my chance, again. You know, since there’s only two founding members left in Brand New Sin, and since we’re about seven years removed from when that self-titled disc came out on Now or Never and nothing since has quite matched up, maybe I don’t want to take that ride Upstate anyway. Maybe it’s time you got yourselves a new name and did the “Featuring Former Members” thing. Then call me.

Or hell, get that dude from Greatdayforup. He’s not busy, and he’d only have to drive five hours.

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