Great Falls Tribune: My Montana “inspired by Native stories & urban legends”
December 7, 2014
Ghost Town Sound experiments on first album – Briana Wipf
(Briana’s entire article here)
The abandoned streets of boomtowns, populations dwindling to a handful, might be what comes immediately to mind with the term “ghost town.”
For Doug Wendt, a ghost town is something different.
On the first album of Wendt’s band, Ghost Town Sound, the metaphor is spoken aloud — it’s the abandonment, the “hollowing out” of things, malls replacing the downtowns, income inequality.
“It calls out for some type of recognition. Music is a great vehicle to get a message out,” Wendt said…
With musicians Jimmy Foot, Doug Sternberg, Steve Powell, Marc Wendt and Catherine-Rose Wendt, Ghost Town Sound began performing in 2008 in shows in California, formerly Wendt’s stomping grounds, and made its debut in Great Falls in 2009.
Wendt is happy with the product he and the band have produced, partly because it’s an original sound. The music industry today is “timid” and the music “derivative,” he said.
“People are hungry for new music,” he said, adding reception to Ghost Town Sound has been positive.
Wendt’s baritone, menacing at times and other times playful, rolls over the instrumentation of the band, sometimes with heavy drop beats and other times with solitary guitars and backup vocals…
Album art is the original work of Deeling Gregory.
Ghost Town Sound is available in hard copy from Worldbeat, P.O. Box 536, Black Eagle, MT 59414.
Big Sky State Buzz.com: Ghost Town Sound “…a large mix of musical styles”
November 24, 2014
- by Jake Sorich
(Jake’s entire lengthy review here: http://www.bigskystatebuzz.com/review/)
“…influenced heavily by reggae, surf rock, Native American teachings, slam poetry, Montana history, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Gorrilaz and Leonard Cohen. And, those are just the ones that an average listener can pick up. There’s undoubtedly many others that are bubbling under the surface that make this Hodge-podge collection of songs hum.”
“…Doug and the rest of Ghost Town Sound — Jimmy Foot, Doug Sternberg, Steve Powell along with Marc and Cat Wendt, do their best to respect the source material and let it stand on it’s own merits. And while these are quite enjoyable, my favorite track has to be ‘Auditor,’ which essentially is a tribute to my hometown, Butte, America.”
“This album works best when Wendt and company are tapping into that lore that comes across as a little eerie, odd and interesting. It takes a few risks, and some work great while others don’t work as well. It’s a bold move, however, and one that may not have been possible 15 or 20 years ago. Which is to say that albums by independent artists have become easier than ever before to release. And while Wendt is trying to stay away from an online-only release, simply giving people free samples has never been easier.
I recommend checking out “Ghost Town Sound” and while I might not enjoy all of the tracks, the ones that do resonate left an immediate impact with me and I found myself listening to several of the songs three, four, five times as the album played in my car stereo.
For more information on Ghost Town Sound, or to pick up a copy of the album, visit the band’s website www.ghosttownsound.com” -Jake Sorich
Great Falls Tribune.com: Hot Ticket
November 7, 2014
Wend Unveils CD – Pete Swanson
Local musician Doug Wendt unveils his band’s self-titled debut CD “Ghost Town Sound” this weekend at Amazing Toys, 515 Central Ave., in conjunction with the expanded Art Walk on Friday and Montana’s 125th Birthday Celebration on Saturday. Wendt will sign copies of the new album on Friday.
Saturday, he’ll showcase the album with augmented live musical elements. Both events run 5 to 8 p.m.
“Ghost Town Sound” features eleven tracks of a rare blend of Western, native and reggae styles with many Montana references. The album was recorded at Bongo Boy, Hollow Bone and Tuff Gong Studios in California, Idaho, England and Jamaica.
An image from the painting “Mystic Traveler” by local artist Deeling Gregory graces the album’s cover.
The band Ghost Town Sound has performed at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and World One Festival in California as well as locally.
Great Falls Tribune.com: Hot Ticket
June 5, 2009
Playing For Art Walk – Pete Swanson
A cast of progressive area musicians and artists presents an eclectic blend of styles during a show tonight in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk.
Ghost Town Sound performs from 9 to 11 p.m. at Alley Galleria, 922 1st Alley N. Poet Paul Zarzyski opens the show with a set of spoken word. Admission is $5 per person. A pre-concert artreception from 6 to 9 p.m. is free.
Ghost Town Sound features Doug Wendt as DJ and vocalist as well as percussion and guitar, Doug Sternberg on rhythm guitar and bass, Dan Lewis on drums and keyboards, Malachi Abdali as dancer and percussionist and Steve Powell on vocals, congas, juice harp and special effects. Sternberg was guitarist for the former Helena reggae group Jah Provide. Lewis is a former member of Cold Hard Cash.
The group’s original compositions span and combine Western, Native American and reggae dub styles woven together with spoken word. Their presentation also incorporates slide projections and film segments integrated with their music.
“It’s not so much a constant stew,” explains Wendt, who directs the group and writes its lyrics. “The flavors kind of ebb and flow. The main thing is it’s 80 percent original material.
Wendt debuted his unique musical multi-media concept, along with Powell, on July 4 last year at the 10th annual World One Festival in El Cerrito, Calif. Wendt and Powell enlisted several other Bay area musicians for their performance.
“We were a show-stopper,” Wendt recalls matter-of-factly with a chuckle. “It was in front of thousands of people. It was like a dream.”
That success inspired Wendt to keep exploring the concept and present a show in his native Great Falls, where he now lives after spending 25 years in San Francisco as a successful pioneering reggae DJ.
“We’re just getting started,” he concedes. “I really think this is going to lead to some amazing stuff.”
Wendt says the inspiration for his lyrics is drawn from experiences growing up in Great Falls and since returning in 1995.
Learn more about Wendt & Ghost Town Sound at www.ghosttownsound.com
(Pete Swanson is a local musician and freelance writer.)
Much more press coverage on Doug here: www.midnightdread.com/PressPage.html