FRIDAY: Roadkill Ghost Choir

Published on August 11th, 2014

PureHoney 3 Year Party

PureHoney Magazine Poster by Nathaniel Deas | Bourbon Sunday

Poster by Nathaniel Deas | Bourbon Sunday

Last year, BPB New Times music editor Liz Tracy wrote about PureHoney’s 2nd Year Anniversary: “The fold-out party bible is entering its terrible twos. They say print is dead, we say: f**k that, pick up a dang paper!” It might seem anachronistic, even a little kitschy to forge on in the internet age in this outmoded medium. How does one explain the simple joys of ripping out a page from Thrasher magazine and thumb-tacking it unto a wall to someone whose entire memory’s evidence is housed in Instagrams computer servers? Annoying as it might be, there’s still something special about getting ink stains on your fingertips and feeling the fold of crisp paper in your hands. There’s something even more special when you get to celebrate three years doing what you love in the company of a great young band like Roadkill Ghost Choir.

Roadkill hails from Central Florida and they’ve already shared the stage with notable acts like Band of Horses and Blonde Redhead. That they’ve managed a steady rise from the dregs of this state into the national consciousness is as improbable a story as this fledgling publication completing its 36th issue. And there’s something poetic about Roadkill Ghost Choir headlining PureHoney’s anniversary party – the cosmic bond of this paper’s creasing rattling in your hands is no different than the disembodied voice of that possum someone ran over a few days ago. There is some truth in the pedantic nature of music lovers and the eccentricities of musicians; we here at PureHoney pride ourselves in our work the way fans of the Avett Brothers or Dead Confederate will love the Americana sounds of Roadkill Ghost Choir.

While the band has that Tom Petty-vibe from time to time, it is interesting that singer/guitarist Andrew Shepard wasn’t as keyed-in to his local music scene as you might think; it would be in his early 20’s that he’d begin to explore the scene in Central Florida and experience the confidence to take his then hermitic music to the stage. Adding to that, there is something intrinsically “Florida” about this band that does not take itself too seriously. According to  Shepard, “the name just sort of happened because we needed one at the time when we first started. We played shows under different names but they were all terrible. Our guitar player, who played keys at the time, had a joke project called ‘Lester Possum and the Roadkill Ghost Choir.’ We thought ‘Roadkill Ghost Choir’ was kind of interesting so we tried that out and it stuck. Some people love it and some hate it. We’ve come to accept the name.”

Roadkill Ghost Choir | PureHoney Magazine

Roadkill Ghost Choir

Roadkill’s only an EP young but their debut full-length album, In Tongues, recorded at Athens, Georgiaís Chase Park Transduction Studios, will be released in August. “You start to learn quickly when you spend a significant amount of time on the road. Not every show is going to be great. There are always terrible shows. Our first touring experience was pretty bleak but you have to push through and work hard no matter who is at the show. You’ll learn a lot about yourself as a musician and how your band operates while on the road. It was a crucial step for us as a band.” Aside from getting some excellent experience with their tour-minded attitudes, they’ve also enjoyed some much-needed national exposure by appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman. “It was no doubt the most stressful performance we’ve ever been a part of. A few of us vomited beforehand. After it was over, we all felt like we did something incredibly important as a younger band. It was very rewarding for us in the end and it taught us so much about that weird side of the business,” remarks Shepard.

PureHoney’s dedicated staff may play musical sage– but there’s no mystery to unravel as publishing a print edition doesn’t seem to get easier with time. Facing the same challenges experienced in the beginning has done little to dissuade the steadfast resolve to continue providing a product that does indeed retain the nostalgia of covering your walls with music-related imagery.

PureHoney is as much a labor of love as Roadkill Ghost Choir is a family affair.

Andrew, along with the rhythm section comprised of his brothers Zach and Maxx, guitarist Stephen Garza and pedal steel/banjo player Kiffy Myers are looking to continue spreading their earnest version of folk rock throughout this nation the same way PureHoney will continue its mission of dirtying your fingertips and becoming a part of your wall.

While the terrible twos were spent celebrating longtime supporter Respectable Street’s 26th Anniversary last year, PureHoney will take a little time for itself on the completion of its third dozen of tactile codices with the help of Roadkill Ghost Choir and many other musical friends from this great state. Here’s to another three years of distributing the love of music and art from Stuart to Miami!

PureHoney Magazines 3 Year Anniversary with Roadkill Ghost Choir, Sweet Bronco, Plastic Pinks, JUDE., Gravel Kings, The Alleys and the Psymatics at 8pm on Friday, August 29 at Respectable Street, West Palm Beach. FREE SHOW!

~Abel Folgar

PH36 | August 2014
Seven of the ten bands on this months free promo compilation are playing the 3 Year Party!
Download the tracks you love for FREE!

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Emerging fully-formed from the desolate heart of Central Florida, Roadkill Ghost Choir make unsettling, powerful American rock, Tom Petty by way of Radiohead and Cormac McCarthy. Set against Kiffy Meyer’s ghostly steel pedal, singer and main songwriter Andrew Shepard triumphantly conjures an allegorical American landscape of drifters, specters and violent saints. Andrew’s brothers Maxx (drums) and Zach (bass) Shepard round out the rhythm section, and Stephen Garza handles lead guitar.

The band released their debut EP ‘Quiet Light’ in 2013 in the midst of a touring run that saw them opening for Band of Horses and 2013 festival slots at New York’s Governor’s Ball, Austin City Limits and Shaky Knees in Atlanta, GA. In January 2014 the band was invited to perform on the David Letterman Show, where they performed standout track “Beggar’s Guild.” Their debut full-length, recorded in Athens, Georgia and in their home studio in Deland, Florida with producer Doug Boehm, will be out later this year. The band will be touring supporting the new album, including stops at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

Poster Art by Bourbon Sunday – Art by Nathaniel Deas

Art Hive Magazine
The Atlantic Current
Jolt Radio
When Music Speaks
Miami Swamp
Independent Ethos
Audio Junkie
Dig Under Rock
NOT fOR aIR Radio

Respectable Street
Wonderland Gift
Propaganda Lake Worth
Jerry’s Artarama
Coastars Coffee Bar
LongBoards Restaurant
Subculture Coffee
Ink and Pistons, Tattoos & Art Gallery
AMP Shop & Music Parlor
Howley’s Restaurant
New World Glass Gallery

Bourbon Sunday, Art by Nathaniel Deas

Cheap Miami
Wayward Parade
Afflux Club
Decades Records
Audioplayground Entertainment

Roadkill Ghost Choir w. Sweet Bronco, Gravel Kings, Plastic Pinks, JUDE., The Alleys and The Psymatics!
FREE SHOW at Respectable Street   |   RSVP