Ghost Town Sound
My long time good friend Doug Wendt aka The Midnight Dread had the very first reggae show on the radio in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. He received top ratings and soon became the DJ for all of Bill Graham's world music shows. Doug also had the most popular event in town; Sunday nights at The Kennel Club on Divisidero Street in San Francisco, a weekly world music event hosting videos from all over the world. Doug would also break new albums for artists like he did with Ziggy Marley. That's Doug toasting on The Rhyth-O-Matics' "Skatalation" single and "Wagon Train Ska" on my 1st instrumentals album. Doug moved to Montana (where he had grown up) in the 90's after Bill Graham had died in a helicopter crash, The Kennel Club had closed down, and Doug's popular show was cancelled by new corporate radio station owners that didn't care for world music.
In 2014, Doug came out to California to do a show at Reggae on the River, a Humboldt event that he had been DJ-ing since it's inception. Doug had a great concept; he had written some original songs to samples he had taken from artists, myself included, that he had promoted. Over the samples, he envisioned a live band. Doug had this idea of the ghost town sound; reggae with a tinge of the old west. He even gave me credit for starting the trend with "Rider On The Range", "Wagon Train Ska" and "Ghost Skankers".
I produced the Ghost Town Sound album with Doug and we performed the album at a world music festival in Berkeley with bass, drums, 3 guitars, keys, singers, harp player and percussionists all playing along with the pre-recorded sample tracks. It was way cool and came off without any problem.
One of the songs on the Ghost Town Sound album, "Summer Is Coming" was originally just Doug on his acoustic guitar. Unlike all of the other songs that were built on pre-recorded tracks, I built this arrangement around Doug's acoustic track. It's my favorite personal contribution to this super interesting and unique album, but every song has its own magic. Check out Doug Wendt at midnightdread.com.