First a review in from the good folks (Fred Mills) at Blurt Online.
There’s opening track “Mr. Lonely,” with its triple-threat echoes of “Copperhead Road,” “Not Fade Away” and (in the final, crashing clarion chords) “Cinnamon Girl,” and its tale of watching love “blow away like desert sand.” That’s followed by another standout, the fiddle- and pedal steel-powered “Love In Return,” and while it would be easy to drop a reference along the lines of “Whiskeytown-esque,” knowing that Hart wrote the tune in ’92 a couple of years before Whiskeytown actually formed leaves you with the distinct feeling that a young Ryan Adams probably saw Hart performing in Raleigh clubs around that time and was taking notes.
Meanwhile, smoky midtempo ballad “Burn Love” (a showcase for Hart’s gently keening, yet urgent, vocal) and the chiming, countryish power pop of “Goodbye Anne Shore Goodbye” are Americana standouts imbued with a timelessness that makes them impossible to pin down, year-wise. And if you are wanting “timeless,” look no further than Hart’s ghostly – term used intentionally – take on the classic tune “Wayfaring Stranger,” which boasts a rich dobro salutation plus a gospellish vocal duet between Hart and guest Lynn Blakey (of Tres Chicas). GO HERE for full review.
And this one from AltcountryNL (an online zine in the Netherlands). A rough translation here:
“For a collection of songs that came in a period of twenty years, Ghosts Of The Old North State (Bombay Records) is surprisingly coherent. Four of the fourteen songs date from 1992, the most recent in 2005. In 2011, the North Carolina-based singer-songwriter remixed the recordings where necessary. We are dealing here with the kind of rootsy janglepop where (NC) it is quite famous. Among the guests of Hart, we have fellow countrymen Lynn Blakey (Tres Chicas), Chip Robinson (The Backsliders) and Steve Potak (The Connells). With songs from such a long period of time included, it is logical to think that the list of coaches is long (not sure of this translation, ha!). As mentioned, this is barely perceptible. Hart plays himself all sorts of guitars (including a 12-string Rickenbacker), piano and organ. On Ghosts Of The Old North State, there are fine nods to the history of rock music. Sandie Shaw is a song in the style of someone like Neal Casal. A single number such as She Will not Ever Be Happy remains perhaps too anonymous to really recall an influence. The entire album is extremely enjoyable, but the only cover, a revised version of the traditional Wayfaring Stranger, perhaps the strongest of all. This, incidentally, indeed partly the merit of Hart himself. The song starts beautifully, almost like country soul or something of Gene Clark. Available at CD Baby .”
And finally, this one in from New York via The Big Takeover by Jack Rabid. Click image for larger view.
As always, you can order the CD directly from Jeff, from iTunes, Amazon MP3 (all 3 CDs there) or CD Baby. Also, if you are in NC, you can get them from CD Alley in Durham, Schoolkids Records in Raleigh or CD Alley in Chapel Hill.