Jeff Hart | Ghosts of the Old North State

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Ghosts of the Old North State

by Jeff Hart

A mainstay in the North Carolina alt-country, Americana and indie pop scene for 25 years. This release, his first solo CD in 16 years, spans two decades of songwriting smarts from one of NC's best independent songwriters.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mr. Lonely
3:32 $0.99
2. Love in Return
3:47 $0.99
3. I Won't Stop At Anything
4:10 $0.99
4. Sandie Shaw
3:48 $0.99
5. Burn Love
3:46 $0.99
6. She Won't Ever Be Happy
2:52 $0.99
7. Put Out a Fire
3:32 $0.99
8. Goodbye Anne Shore Goodbye
2:27 $0.99
9. Better Days
3:37 $0.99
10. All Along the Wallflower
2:48 $0.99
11. Wayfaring Stranger
3:32 $0.99
12. View Ye Living
2:52 $0.99
13. Margarite
4:28 $0.99
14. Walking Between Raindrops
5:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“Built on a base of country twang but finished with touches of British Invasion rock, ’60s garage pop, ’70s Laurel Canyon and, of course, native North Carolina bluegrass and jangle pop, Ghosts of the Old North State reveals Hart as an equally fine collector and creator ... There are too many highlights to list, like the plaintive Black Crowes-ish “I Won’t Stop At Anything,” embellished with tasteful strings and a reference to The Graduate, and the rich harmonies and jangly melody of “She Won’t Ever Be Happy.” The pretty two-minute psych-pop winner “Goodbye Anne Shore Goodbye” strikes a contrast with the aching waltz “Wayfaring Stranger.” Horns even aid “Put Out a Fire,” which could pass for a ’60s pop anthem.”

- Chris Parker, The Independent Weekly

“Ghosts” also received an honorable mention in The Independent’s Top 10 Releases of 2011. A considerable accomplishment considering the CD had only been out a little over a week at the time of the listing.

“View ye living as you pass by. As you are, so once was I. As I am, soon you will be. Prepare ye living to follow me.” – From the tombstone of George Washington Hart 1809 – 1901.

These words were related to me by a family historian when I was in elementary school and I was told that they were on my great, great, great grandfather’s tombstone. I filed them away and eventually wrote a song around it. It took me another 13 years to get it on an album. It’s one of the songs on “Ghosts of the Old North State”, my first studio CD since the 1995 “Glances From A Nervous Groom” (coincidentally, the name of my other blog).

The record is dedicated to Lizzie Cheek (1892 – 1919) the one NC ghost for which I have first hand knowledge (well, outside of the Brown Mountain Lights, which was the name of a former band of mine). Edit 11/7/11: My father became ill and passed away after the final artwork was printed. Otherwise, I would have had the dedication to him if I’d had a chance to amend this.

“Songs, ghosts and lost Lenores live amongst us, drifting in and out of our thoughts and occupying a space wherever they can find it. Over half of the multi-track masters for this album were considered lost for several years or in a state that they could not be recovered. Thanks to some detective work by Dave Tilley and restoration by FJ Ventre, Jerry Kee and Jeff Carroll, these Ghosts of the Old North State have found their way home.

For reasons I am not even sure I understand, I lost interest in putting out albums. My first two were great fun and were extremely well received locally, nationally and across the pond. I didn’t quit writing and I continued playing new songs on stage. I still have closets of songs that are unheard and it’s easy to envision the next two CDs. But with 16 years since my last studio release, it finally felt as if “it’s time”. All of these were originally well-recorded, but over half were not part of any CD project. Bands broke up, regrouped, people & time moved on. By 2011, I decided to revisit these recordings, some with the original studio equipment and engineers. FJ Ventre & Jerry Kee recorded my piano, organ, guitar & vocal overdubs and we brought in new & old friends and together we reawakened these ghosts. The spirits of these songs have long been beckoning in quiet whispers for a new life. So it’s with long deferred gratification that I bring you Ghosts of the Old North State.” – Liner notes for the CD

The title Ghosts of The Old North State was inspired by the first book I ever checked out of the Garner Elementary School library when I was in the first grade in 1969, An Illustrated Guide to Ghosts & Mysterious Occurrences in the Old North State by Nancy Roberts.



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