Doug Wendt | Ghost Town Sound

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Ghost Town Sound

by Doug Wendt

Unique blend of native roots, reggae, western, & dub. Hailed as "a triumph", "utterly original & deeply enjoyable", "haunting music, ancient & prophetic, nostalgic & futuristic", "a creative masterpiece" that "sets a new bar". From Rex Foundation honoree.
Genre: World: World Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vision Quest U.S.A.
2:54 $0.99
2. Ohtahku
5:08 $1.29
3. Nd Waza Bat
3:48 $0.99
4. Crow Testament
4:16 $0.99
5. Boxcar
2:42 $0.99
6. Auditor
2:31 $0.99
7. Empty Town
2:22 $0.99
8. Fingerprints
4:38 $0.99
9. American Ghost Town
5:38 $1.29
10. Tiny Montany
5:00 $0.99
11. Summer Is Comin'
4:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Doug Wendt’s GHOST TOWN SOUND debut recording has officially been released digitally by Midnight Dread Records. Wendt’s live performance creation was recorded at Bongo Boy, Hollow Bone, Unit 8, and Tuff Gong Studios in California, Idaho, England, and Jamaica. Jimmy Foot co-produced the album with Doug. The first official video "Ohtahku" can be seen here: A video for "Auditor" will be issued soon.

The CD includes several compositions with lyrics by Wendt including “Vision Quest USA”, “Auditor”, “Empty Town”, “Ohtahku”, and “American Ghost Town”, the latter song a new version produced by Steve Marshall of his Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry CD’s title selection THE END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM. A track provided by Indigenous Resistance entitled “Crow Testament” came from a Steven Stanley remix at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. Other highlights include “ND Waza Bat” written by original landlord Keith Secola from the wide-ranging ‘Great Native American Songbook’ as well as Neil Young’s “Boxcar” and Bob Dylan’s “Tiny Montgomery”.

Players include Daniel Orlick’s Posse (C-Dub), Jimmy Foot (Kingfoot, Reggae Jackson, and The Rhyth-O-Matics), Doug Sternberg (Jah Provide), Steve Marshall (State of Emergency), Marc Wendt (Lumanation), Steve Powell, Stevie Culture, Catherine-Rose Wendt, Doug and many others. An image from Deeling Gregory’s painting “Mystic Traveler” is the CD’s cover. Another of her series of large scale Ghost Town Sound paintings “Spirits Grazing” is also part of the original CD’s artwork. Affiliated websites: , , , , and , who designed our bucking lion rider image. The Rex Foundation honored Wendt with its rare and prestigious Ralph J. Gleason Award in 2015.

Ghost Town Sound has performed at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, Machinery Row, Alley Galleria, The Summer Music Series, and Sound of the Falls Fest in Montana, as well as Ashkenaz and the World One Festival in California and other such events in The Rockies and beyond. Beautiful original edition hard copies are available from Worldbeat, P.O.Box 536, Black Eagle, MT 59414 USA, $20 postpaid domestic, $35 postpaid international, mail-order only. Please also PayPal added support to to help with this and its followup. Give thanks.

Here's a collection of reviews of the GHOST TOWN SOUND CD, including a track for track rundown from Reggae Archivist and artist Roger Steffens near the end:

Def Jam veteran / Rap Raven Bill Adler hails the Ghost Town Sound album as “Utterly original and deeply enjoyable” and then continues “I girded my loins and roped in, as advised, and I was still blown away by ‘Ghost Town Sound’. Beautiful original work.”

"Ghost Town Sound is a gas. I'm enjoying it greatly. An impressive achievement bringing together a creative mix of styles for an original sound. In particular, I am impressed by the sly lyrical sense of strongly pointed political insight and subversive expression. This is a mash-up of traditional with current progressive sounds that rhythmically and sonically mixes boldly. You might call it global dub boogie with a brain - and a sense of humor. It's what Lee Perry might make if he went to Nashville in the right frame of mind with something new to chant. - Don't worry Scratch. I'll bet Ghost Town Sound would be happy to have you sit in.- A triumph for Doug Wendt, the longtime Midnight Dread, and Rhyth-0-matic maestro Jimmy Foot." -Jonathan E, ONE WORLD BEAT BAM columnist and top world music DJ

“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’s a bold move…” -Jake Sorich, BIG SKY STATE BUZZ

“It melds native legends, Montana landscapes, & spooky lyrics set to a funky island beat. Wendt wrote or co-wrote more than half the songs, & his spectral interpretations stir the dust of forlorn and long-deserted western towns. But his vision goes beyond geographical boundaries, encompassing a world threatening to disappear like the barren towns, nay, civilization of yore, due to humanity’s excesses…definitely ghostly and different.” -Mariss McTucker, LIVELY TIMES and MONTANA ARTS

“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. The newly released album is the combination of years of work with a core group of five to six people. It began simply enough with a weekly DJ show Wendt and others performed at Gibson Park. From that, Ghost Town Sound ultimately was born. 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. The songs, several of which were written or co-written by Wendt, are inspired by Native stories or local folk and urban legends — the mysterious sound that once emanated from the Great Falls area and a famous stray dog that lived in Butte make cameos on the disc.” -Briana Wipf, GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE

“Not everyone could find the nexus between reggae, Blackfoot history & Western culture, but longtime compadre and reggae maven Doug ‘The Midnight Dread’ Wendt has done it with his Ghost Town Sound band’s new album… check out the video! Really enjoyed the confluences of sounds & cultures… fave tracks: ‘Crow Testament’, ‘Fingerprints’ & ‘Auditor’ … go deh!” -Randall Grass, GM, SHANACHIE RECORDS & ENTERTAINMENT

"I love the Ghost Town Sound record!! I love the originality of it and also love that it's so different than anything else in my vast collection!!. Also wonderful to hear one of my all-time favorite radio voices in my car here on Kauai. Fantastic job on the record boss... I'm honored to receive it. Much Aloha from Kauai." -Ron Rhoades of THE SHAKERS, THE TITANS, & TAKE-OFFS

“I am drawn to your haunting music, which is at once ancient and prophetic, nostalgic and futuristic. Deeling’s cover art with its ghost riders is a perfect preface to this creative masterpiece. I totally get ‘Ohtahku’- it’s the magnet that brought me back home to the middle of Montana and infused me with the passion to devote 5 years of my life to stopping a coal plant with its inevitable desecration of this special place. Yours is a powerful message and it deserves a wide audience. Thanks, you two, for creating this special album. In this Ghost Town there are a few who are still awake and appreciative of your extraordinary talents.” -Cheryl Reichert, retired Ohtahku physician

“Damn says Crow! Got your disc today, honored to be on your mail out list. Digging this so much!!! Very original stylee. Bless.” -Marty Dread, ace reggae musician

“That was great. Is that your voice!!! You are the SHIT!!!!!!! Reggae Tom Waits. We are coming out with our new album soon changing the name to Carlton Pride and Solpride!!!!!!! One love.” -Carlton Pride, deep reggae musician, son of Charley Pride

Master Word Slinger and alleged Cowboy Poet Paul Zarzyski called to say how much he loves the Ghost Town Sound debut album through and through and said it “sets a new bar for Spoken Word.” He especially loves “Vision Quest USA” and “ Summer Is Comin’ ”, the CD’s opening and closing songs.

"Every small town in America has hidden geniuses, people of extraordinary abilities, some who have sought the creative possibilities of the coastal edges of this sprawling country, but have found the pull of Home to be irresistible. Such a one is 'Duppy Doug' Wendt, the Goner Who Goes There. In the ‘80s Doug Wendt was a VJ before anyone knew what that meant. A DJ who illustrated his songs with brilliant international videos with visual overdubs of in-club dancers under black lights, near naked on tiny purchases on the wall above the revelers of the Kennel Club below. On any given evening 35 different countries’ melodies could be heard, with people from as many cultures dancing merrily to each others’ music. One Chord, One Heart, proving that Soul music knows no bounds. Doug is one of those multi-talented people, adept in so many arts and modest about them all. But have no doubt, he is the real thing, and he has herein expanded his radio and tv careers to become a recording artist/composer/singer himself.

With 'Vision Quest USA' he shares his poetry of the Big Sky Country melding covered wagon twangs with modern dub visions, floating in the sky from Painted Desert to Hopiland. 'Ohtahku' is The Sound, reggaefied, of a mighty and thunderable river, and a history lesson about the effects of the past on the future. The sound faded away, and then it was GONE!! And the music laments the loss. But now it’s back, irresistible, the Ghost Town Sound, haunting like the ethereal whistle of the Ghost Train.

'ND Waza Bat' states simply and whimsically an obvious truth: Andy was a vampire bat. On 'Crow Testament' Doug tells the tale of the crow with Indian chants that take you to another space in time. As Crow says, what’s gone is gone. 'Boxcar,' sung in a light voice, is a propulsive meditation on life itself as a man of many colors surveys the world he wishes were real.

'Auditor' is a real shaggy dog story. 'Empty Town' is a rock steady lament for what used to be and the deprivations of crapitalism on the American sheepul. Hurt by what he has seen in his own hometown of Great Falls, with the chainification that drives local businesses under, he pinpoints the culprits. 'Fingerprints' features a ghost rider in the sky as he searches for his fingerprints.

'American Ghost Town' jogs from Strip Mall to Strip Joint to Ghost Town. Locked Doors. Morte gauge. The Dying will and testament of Old Tyme America In 'Tiny Montany' Bob Dylan lives again. The Beats would have loved this one, with its deceptively smooth chorus and insinuatingly surrealistic reveries. And finally there’s a mystery track ('Summer Is Comin') that challenges you to remain in your seat, 'Sunshine wrapped around my brain.'

All in all Ghost Town Sound is a poetic and musical triumph and it doesn’t sound like anything else you’ve heard in a long, long time." -Roger Steffens, author of SO MUCH THINGS TO SAY: The Oral History Of Bob Marley & photographer for The Family Acid.

Know your origins Ohtahku! Twilight comes daily. “It was a mysterious and unique sound only known to this place… Ohtahku, the ghost town sound…”

Background info on Doug taken from Canyon Cinema Salon Program Notes, San Francisco, California June 30th, 2014:
"Audio visual artist Doug Wendt has been making films and been active in the radio/music business since hosting Focus Collage on Montana radio in the 1960s. Doug received a Masters Degree in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1972. His award-winning films have been seen in museums and on SNL. Wendt served as President, Board Member, Film Inspector, and Projectionist at Canyon Cinema in the 1970s while managing the Presidio Theatre’s Midnight Movies underground film series. He’s provided assistance for many films including several on Bob Marley, worked as Music Consultant for the 1997 Oscar nominated documentary MANDELA: SON OF AFRICA, FATHER OF A NATION and for an Art in China film as well as Paramount Picture’s 48 HRS with Eddie Murphy in the 1980s. His revealing interview with Peter Tosh is featured through out Peter’s STEPPING RAZOR RED X film.

Wendt’s popular worldbeat VJ dance party, originally presented from 1988-1994 at The Kennel Club in San Francisco, featured hours of custom edited videos compiled by Doug projected onto three large screens. DETAILS MAGAZINE called the unique events 'Best Night Out In America' while O GLOBO in Brazil hailed the weekly five hour ever-changing musical trip around the world 'An Empire of the Senses'. Doug’s Midnight Dread, World Beat, Deep Sixties, and Native Son Rising radio shows/selections have aired on KFOG, KQAK (The Quake), KQED-TV, KPFA, and KUSF in the bay area plus WXPN and KGPR etc. They were broadcast daily and streamed world-wide on the web via World One keCg out of El Cerrito CA in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. Other radio shows are archived on websites and Mixcloud.

Doug moved home to Montana from SF in the mid-90s where he finished several new 16mm films being screened to the general public for the first time anywhere tonight. He’s run the local NPR affiliate and taught film classes at two nearby universities. Wendt also started the live music group and radio program, Ghost Town Sound." -Canyon Cinema Salon Program Notes, San Francisco, California June 30th, 2014

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