Threats & Promises

In the Land of Wind and Ghosts, And More Music News and Gossip

Joshua Harper

DROP/ADD: The UGA Performing Arts Center, in response to necessary readjustments, has reimagined its fall programming and divided it into four categories available for online enjoyment and very limited in-person access. The four entertainment tracks are named Art Chats, informal discussions with musicians regarding career and inspirations; The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center series, a curated lineup of performances from the group, as well as Q&A sessions hosted by Wu Han and David Finkel; LIVE! By Georgia, intimate performances by local musicians at Hodgson Hall; and Up Close, a view into lives of artists at home, navigating career and life, through live or taped performances. The full schedule and all other details may be found over at

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’: Drive-By Truckers just released the recordings from its 2017 Heathens Homecoming shows (i.e. the Athens family-reunion-type performances the group does each year to benefit Nuçi’s Space). While this annual series is always a group of three back-to-back shows, the Friday night of 2017 wasn’t recorded. But between the Thursday and Saturday shows (recorded by David Barbe, mixed by David and Henry Barbe, and live sound handled by Wyatt Pless), you get a whopping 49 songs, which, in the parlance of Huddle House, is a mighty hearty helping. Please see and/or for more information.

BACK TO THE BOARDS: Another new release from experimental composer Michael Potter made its way down the tracks this week, and it’s named Pre-Trance Music. This is roughly a companion piece to his wonderful four-track release, Trance Music, which came out in July. It contains two solo sets recorded last year at Flicker Theatre & Bar and the Cloud Recordings Festival, respectively. While I am a huge fan of Potter’s electronic works, I have a real soft spot for his acoustic performances such as those showcased here. Working with nothing more than acoustic guitar, an amplifier and some effects, he travels the same rutted highways here as John Fahey, Robbie Basho and, to a lesser degree, even Bert Jansch. Check it at

SEPTEMBER MORNING: It was before sunrise one day when I stumbled across In The Land Of Wind and Ghosts by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Joshua Harper. More than many local releases of a personal nature, this one feels very much like peering through a window that continues to recede into a darker and more blurred background. Beginning with the gently plucked and steady-paced title track, the record quickly reclines into the reined and whimsical instrumental “Summer In A College Town.” Ironically, the most serious-minded track here—“A Sign Of My Passing”—is also the least characteristic of the whole record and is structured very much as a typical folk song. “Watch The Ghosts,” on the other hand, fills its less-than-two-minutes with two fistfuls of emotion, and the sudden burst of fuzzed-out guitar at the end is more functional than decorative. Closing out with “Dreams,” an echo-y statement of observation and forward thinking, everything just kind of folds inward and inward until it’s both smaller than a pinpoint and larger than a universe. Please enjoy this over at

LATE SUMMER SAMPLER: While he’s been busy prepping the full album release—the debut album of his band project Superpuppet—musician and author Grafton Tanner has steadily sneaked out singles. I first told you about “O Sun” back in May. Since then, he’s released the post-punk/semi-goth “Fantasy Park,” the Scott Walker-ish “Immaculate” and the story-telling dark exploration “CF​/​SM (For Bob Flanagan),” which is, as its title implies, dedicated to and about late performance artist Bob Flanagan. The album, Under a Birdless Sky, doesn’t come out until Oct. 1, but you may enjoy these select tracks over at