The blues has grown up a lot in the last ten years, since guitarist Andrew Burnes left New York for Georgia, bringing a de facto end to the powerful abstract blues of Haunted House. In the time since, a new generation — sometimes referred to as Freak Folk or New Weird America and spearheaded by Tom Carter, Jack Rose and Ben Chasny — has followed in the footsteps of Loren Connors, John Fahey and a handful of others who have long maintained that the blues is something more than 12 bars and a backbeat.
After the demise of Haunted House, Connors continued preaching the gospel, often with his wife — the enigmatic singer Suzanne Langille — to anyone who would listen, playing a slow, distorted, reverb-drenched blues as slowly the world began to come around. Then, in the summer of 2010, the stars aligned just so: Burnes was in town for a few days, percussionist Neel Murgai was available, and the Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room was booking matinee concerts in their courtyard. The band had only existed for a brief two years and had been absent for a decade, but they picked up right where they left off with only a brief soundcheck as rehearsal. Another matter of months, and they were in the studio, recording at long last the follow-up to their 1999 Erstwhile release Up in Flames.