Depending on one either being an optimist or a pessimist, a solid conclusion to a recently popularized argument pertaining to nostalgia is nostalgia can ultimately lead one to the thought “It’s nice to be alive.”
It’s been a decade from the heavy idea phase—presumably made in a fit of whatever vocalist/guitarist Richie Kirkpatrick did to help him think while he was living in Murfreesboro—that turned into a well-remembered reality that was, and is now again, area alt.country/rawk quartet Ghostfinger, reuniting for the first time since disbanding, with opening acts Murfreesboro-founded peer How I Became the Bomb and Nashville favorite Lone Official on Friday, May 13, at 9 p.m. at Nashville’s Exit/In.
With the original Ghostfinger lineup consisting of Richie Kirkpatrick on lead vocals and guitar, Matt Rowland on keys, Van Campbell on drums and Todd Beene on guitar and pedal steel, the night should remind some folks of past house parties on Greenland Drive, the surprisingly accessible-at-the-time Kirkpatrick on an Eaton Street porch around sunrise rambling about Guy James Road, or their rich upstairs live sets at the former Murfreesboro Square printing/record shop Grand Palace. But be it then or now, there’s going to be old wet panties flying every which way.
During their Murfreesboro beginnings, Kirkpatrick, Rowland and Campbell released Ghostfinger’s debut album, These Colors Run, in 2005. That album was, and is, chock-full of lyrically comedic surprise punches and drunken head-scratch insights while. Musically, a couple of Wright Music Hall jazz students strategically and creatively accompanied a madman’s rock guitar ideas. The gist of Ghostfinger’s first album is pretty much “We’re gonna fuckin’ rock your pants off right now while we gently play with your hair and if you trust us, we’re not afraid and you’ll like it.” Their individual, yet evened-out stage charisma and charm wholly lined up with that sentiment, too, so if a then-Ghostfinger fan was asked about all that in passing, they would pretty much only say, “Man, it is what it is,” while softly nodding their heads yes while dazing off at the ground for a second for lack of anything better to respond with.
If romanticized, the proper culmination of Ghostfinger’s Murfreesboro presence—with the songs that make up These Colors Run and a few not used until their sophomore album, The Feeler, along with their well-played raucous of a stage show—is Kirkpatrick inevitably being charged with inciting a riot by Murfreesboro’s finest at a house show on Fairview Avenue. So, they can put that on their résumés.
Utilizing the locomotion created in Murfreesboro and honing in on their already solid alt.country rock sound, Ghostfinger toured the country a little before settling their act in Nashville to continue what they started on that bigger stagescape. That’s noticeable in the aforementioned follow up album, The Feeler, released in August of 2008 on Grand Palace Records, and stands as a perfect example of a band’s career growth while maintaining their sound. The Feeler is a proper consistency. It’s Ghostfinger’s heads breaching the clouds while their feet remain firmly planted. It’s a fine example of adapting to and building on the last half-decade’s worth of East Nashville rock like another upward-bound Murfreesboro-beginnings band, Those Darlins, did this last decade. It’s just plainly, simply, classically, and goofily Respectful with a capital R as the rating. And fans don’t complain about something so nice about a favorite band.
After the original lineup of Ghostfinger hiatus-ed all over the place in 2011, Kirkpatrick, along with Rowland, are enduring in East Nashville’s music scene these last five years by creating another flash-popularized Kirkpatrick project, RIcHIE, that became just as highly recognized, and not only all over Nashville, with billings alongside the likes of Protomen, Jeff the Brotherhood and Wolfmother. RIcHIE is giving Kirkpatrick and company the opportunity to stretch out beyond Nashvillian boundaries and dabble in some national attention as the band has played Bonnaroo and South by Southwest, toured a bit of Europe, and Kirkpatrick even got an appearance in on Late Night with David Letterman. Put that on a résumé.
Kirkpatrick isn’t the best at keeping a steady and current news feed of his shenanigans online, but information about his projects and the people involved can be found through his RIcHIE and Ghostfinger fan sites on Facebook.
Exit/In is located at 2208 Elliston Place in Nashville and tickets to the Ghostfinger/How I Became the Bomb/Lone Survivor show can be found online at ticketfly.com for a $10 general admission price.
These Colors Run and The Feeler can be found on ITunes, Amazon and ghostfinger.bandcamp.com; a worn-out copy of the early Ghostfinger preview burn CD can be found stuck forever in the CD player of one of Dean Freeland’s old cars.
Go. Fight. Win.