Haunted Windchimes Turn Old Into New with Blended Harmonies
How the Haunted Windchimes got their distinctive name is a matter of conjecture and contradiction. Sometimes, contradiction from the same source.
"Rumor has it that they came by their name in an abandoned roadhouse after sharing a jug of potent moonshine," one columnist writes, but then offers a more conventional explanation: "Somehow, the name fits. The band’s music is often haunting, and their gorgeous harmonies have an ethereal, windchime quality."
Either way, the quintet from Pueblo, Colorado, has been leaving a growing quantity of new fans along their tour of live shows. "Their recent album is appropriately named 'Live Chimes, Volume I,' and their latest is "Out with the Crow." After their appearance on Prairie Home Companion, host Garrison Keillor commented that the band was "popular among the gray hairs, green hairs, purple hairs, and all over.”
Sean Moeller of Paste Magazine (wind-) chimes in, "These are songs of sweet shinings and those things that we aspire to when we see the light.” And the Pueblo Chieftain adds, “The ghost of classic blues mingles with a pop sensibility that’s given an edge by incredibly touching harmonies.”
Co-founder Inaiah Lujan tells a reporter that what he likes best about the group is its versatility: “We do bluegrass festivals. We play cowboy poetry festivals, we go and do these indie rock ‘n’ roll gigs."
Ukulele player Desirae Garcia tells Marquee Magazine that she picked up the instrument many years ago after playing guitar for some time. And she did, in fact, get her uke in Hawaii, when her parents lived out there. “My sister still lives in Maui, and I have this kind of weird insecurity when I go back, because everyone plays traditional style. They’re taught by their families, young, and everybody does it.
"And when I go back I feel nervous because I run in there with my cowboy boots, playing cowboy chords and strutting it like I’m playing a guitar, basically, which I feel pretty comfortable doing. I feel like I play it pretty well. But it’s definitely not traditional style,” she said.
One music writer sums up what makes the group so different: They play new songs that sound old – not old like a Ford Pinto, old like a Model T – classic, ageless, sublime."
One of their new old-time songs says, "I'm up with the dawn / Out by the road / Gone with the wind / Flying out with the crows..."
But music writer Brian Johnson probably best sums up their appeal: "The Pueblo-based quintet plays chamber pop and old-time music with an authenticity that makes it feel as if the group stepped out of an Alan Lomax tape deck."