Let’s not forget the context. With this recent influx of bands that, when described, “folk” and “punk” come up in the same sentence, the Haints have been hard at work and play for years. It’s this seasoned, large-brush approach that illustrates how big a force the Haints have become musically and how broad-scoped Ghost Dance really is. It’s like walking into your favorite roadside restaurant during a long drive. Generous portions. Diverse, but down home menu. Expertly spiced, simple food. Well-worn linoleum, but sparkling clean. Wonderful, personal service, no forced grins or minimum amounts of flare enforced. Ghost Dance is, thankfully, long. Twenty songs gives them time to set the stage, fill your head, and take you to their home, which is as much a time as a place. It’s a collection of original pieces, a Riverboat Gamblers cover, and traditionals revisited. And then it struck me, something that’s been staring me in the face for some time. The Haints are to the South what the Pogues are to Ireland. Not only do they have a deep respect of what came before—and their musicianship is as impeccable as it is diverse (mandolin, washtub bass, banjos, and bodhran)—but they tap into that originating spirit so much, they can’t help themselves from reshuffling the deck and lighting small fires under themselves so they don’t get asphyxiated by the past. This record’s like watching a fire all night. Crackles and blazes giving away to smoldering and smoking, and the next morning, its memory is still being carried around in your clothes. Fantastic.