by John Tarpley
When the "Holy Ghost Rock & Roll Revival" pitches its proverbial tent each first Wednesday of the month at White Water, the tavern becomes what the band describes as "a sort of a church for pagans — saints and sinners." Now, let's not delve into the whole "saloon as church, bar as communion table, rock as gospel and tequila is the Eucharist" metaphor that's been belched up by show-going drunks for decades.
Instead, the still-new Monkhouse taps directly into the long-standing, patently Southern well of gospel-sweetened roots, soul, swamp rock and blues music with "no preaching, no church-i-ness and no religion." But there is an undeniable sheen of religion that lies thinly atop the music, an ever-present hint of old-time church goodliness that's never proselytizing and only present if you're out to see it there. (Much like that wooden cross that's suggested over guitarist Nathaniel Greer's head in the picture.)