Far From Kansas | The Ghost Inside of You

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Bright Eyes Ryan Adams Wilco

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FFK on Myspace Far From Kansas MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic Tradebit

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United States - California

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Rock: Americana Country: Country Rock Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Ghost Inside of You

by Far From Kansas

Alt.country inflected indie rock with echos of Bright Eyes, Wilco, and Death Cab; likely to make you cry in your beer and dance the night away, all at the same time.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Barstow
4:46 $0.79
2. Steinbeck's America
3:24 $0.79
3. Victoria Ave.
4:03 $0.79
4. Danielle
3:55 $0.79
5. Nothing Gold Can Stay
4:21 $0.79
6. Ferris Wheels & Carousels
3:35 $0.79
7. The Ghost Inside of You
6:20 $0.79
8. Torn Photographs
5:08 $0.79
9. Golden Gate
4:25 $0.79
10. Scarecrow
3:57 $0.79
11. Placerville, California
3:16 $0.79
12. Because I Could Not Stop for Death
3:01 $0.79
13. Friday Night
3:50 $0.79
14. Matthew 6:24/(I Don't Wanna Be) Your Man
7:00 $0.79
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Far From Kansas: Biography

Rumor has it that FAR FROM KANSAS front man, J.D. LEVIN, is a distant cousin of the WALLFLOWERS' famous lead singer, JAKOB DYLAN. In addition, it's also been suggested that Levin is related to Jacob's slightly more famous father, BOB (if only by marriage). While these rumors have yet to be confirmed, and numerous calls placed to both Dylans' publicists have yet to be returned, one thing is certain: J.D. Levin's musical genealogy is just as rich as his near-mythic biological one.

From his early days, haunting ARMY OF FRESHMEN shows at the old Teltron Café in Ventura, California, J.D. Levin has built his reputation on one unfailing principal: always begin with a well crafted song. Combining his love of 60s and 70s singer-songwriters such as DYLAN, YOUNG, and SPRINGSTEEN, with an affinity for modern day songwriting savants such as ELLIOTT SMITH, CONOR OBERST and RYAN ADAMS, Levin's songs seem to exist somewhere between the classic rock he grew up on and the rock and roll played by his friends and peers. In fact, something about J.D. Levin's song-craft gives you the feeling that these songs have existed all along--in a jukebox at some diner along old Route 66, halfway between Oklahoma and nowhere, waiting to be played--waiting for you to drop that quarter in and press B-52. In one of Levin's earliest recorded tracks for SFS Records, "Song for Bobby Dylan" we can hear echoes of WOODY GUTHRIE and Dylan himself. Likewise, the rare, unreleased track, "(I Don't Wanna Be) Your Man" could very well be a HANK WILLIAMS b-side. On the other side of the coin, since Levin picked up a Fender Stratocaster and took up with the kids in Far From Kansas (MATT LEVIN [bass], CHRIS DIXON [guitars, vocals], and FRANK CRUZ [Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, piano, accordion, glockenspiel, banjo, drums]), he's also been crafting electric driven power-pop and indie rock tunes with much the same tenacity and precision as witnessed on his earlier recordings, though sacrificing none of his literate sensibilities.

Far From Kansas formed in 2003 when J.D. Levin and his brother, Matt, teamed up with original drummer DANIEL MCDERMOTT and keyboardist DIANA ESSEX in a garage near the 126 freeway in Ventura. A slew of local shows and the SFS Records release, CHANGE FOR THE BETTER (2004), soon followed. When Daniel and Diana departed to attend college, Dixon was added to beef up the band's guitar sound, and Cruz joined on as a second keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist. With these dramatic changes in the line-up the tried and true J.D. Levin formula had changed. While still literate and well crafted, these songs were now real, live rock and roll tunes. If the old J.D. Levin songs curled up next to you and whispered in your ear, then some of the Far From Kansas tracks were just as likely to get out of bed and kick you in the ass. The major difference between a song written by the man who truly is "Ventura's answer to Ryan Adams" and other, more recent band wagon converts to the genre is that Levin's songs, while kicking you in the ass, are still just as likely to evoke the ghosts of Springsteen, STEINBECK, SAM COOKE, and Hank Williams, sometimes literally, sometimes simultaneously. But whether they're kicking you in the ass, or whispering in your ear, J.D. Levin and Far From Kansas are always compelling and always ready on the juke box. All you have to do is let your quarter drop.



to write a review

Katelyn Paulson

One of the Best CD's I have
I love this CD. I have not been able to take it out of my CD player! I love the acoustic guitar and the great melodies. The music has a lot to say if anyone just listens to the words. Check them out. They have great songs that always get stuck in my head. I am singing them all day long!


A moody, sonorous album representing the best of rootsy college rock
Far From Kansas's The Ghost Inside of You takes listeners on a sonic road trip through the badlands of California and an emotional journey through the most aching of human experiences. The CD moves from reflective, moody tracts (barstow, the ghost inside of you) to regional anthems (my favorite is steinbeck's america) that demand to be played with the windows down and a vanful of friends. Although Levin's vocals take a bit of getting used to (he can come off as pitchy or thin at first), the feelings and images invoked by this album recall the best of American roots rock: from Gutherie and Dylan to Wilco and the Old 97s. Fans of the Mermaid Avenue CDs will find resonances in the Ghost Inside of You.

More than college-town bar rock, Far From Kansas delicately combines a powerful regionalism with the emotional honesty of contemporary indie sounds, adding a melodic, searing intensity that can overpower the barest tracks in the CD's middle section. The combination works best in songs that temper the indie whine with steady percussion.

If The Ghost Inside of You makes you want to cry into your liquor with your best pal standing by, it also makes you laugh. Danielle's playful lyrics (particularly the easy rhyme scheme and familiar bluesy strumming) makes it a song that's instantly sing-alongable. The final track Friday Night is both irreverent and witty and recalls the lyric manifestos of American folk classics.

For all those who claim that American rock n' roll is dead,
The Ghost Inside of You proves the genre is very much alive and more dynamic than ever.