Black Music Matters Festival

Pat Haney

Ghost of Things to Come – 2001 (Freefalls Entertainment)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

CDs by Pat Haney

Kentucky native Pat Haney has one of those singer/songwriter resumes that would read well in a Tom McGuane novel. A history major missing a handful of credits for his bachelor's degree, Haney has worked a Mississippi River barge, pumped gas, laid carpet, and clerked liquor stores, all of which helps lend an unmistakable authenticity to his down at the heel odes of ordinary people with extraordinary passions and motivations. In other words, everybody.

Haney's 2000 debut, "Wrong Rite of Passage," was a more subdued sonic affair, shimmering with dobro and fiddle and a more distinctly bluegrass veneer. This year finds Haney looking to shake things up by linking more directly to his avowed influences like Steve Earle (the title track, "Fifteen Years"), John Prine ("Nursing Home") and Kris Kristofferson ("Hey There Mister"). Everything on "Ghost" stands a little taller and rocks a little harder, from the electric arrangements to Haney's impressively soulful songs. There's enough introspection here to call it folk, enough twang to call it country, and enough volume to call it one helluva good time.