Sponsored Resources

Marley's Ghost, Spooked CD cover artwork

Marley's Ghost, Spooked

Audio CD

Disk ID: 171464

Disk length: 42m 22s (14 Tracks)

Original Release Date: 2006

Label: Unknown

View all albums by Marley's Ghost...

Tracks & Durations

1. Sail Away, Ladies 3:05
2. Get Off the Track 2:55
3. The Wicked Messenger 3:42
4. High Walls 3:15
5. Last Words 3:22
6. Palms of Victory 3:32
7. Old Time Religion 2:56
8. The Girl with the Blue Dress On/Sally in the Garden 3:15
9. Cowboy Lullaby 3:38
10. The Ballad of Johnny Hallyday 4:11
11. Love, Not Reason 3:05
12. There's Religion in Rhythm 2:39
13. Seaman's Hymn 1:25
14. Hidden track 1:12

Note: The information about this album is acquired from the publicly available resources and we are not responsible for their accuracy.


If the eighth album from these grizzled rounders sounds like what would happen if you paired a dyed-in-the-old-time-wool string band with a genius producer of '60s pop music, that's because it is. Working with Brian Wilson cohort and legendary lyricist/arranger Van Dyke Parks (who, along with producing, chips in on keyboards, marimba, and chimes), Marley's Ghost don't need an orchestra to create a wall of sound. With sparkling autoharp, pedal steel, bouzouki, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and high-strung guitars, their approach suggests the folk-pop expeditions of Dillard and Clark, with traditional string interplay that's rich with detail and nuance: sometimes as lush and airy as countrypolitan, sometimes as funky as a Skillet Lickers 78. The songs cover the folk landscape, from cowboy lullabies to fiddle tunes, roving balladry to sea chanteys, and gospel hymns to satirical waltzes. If some of the country-rock arrangements flirt with Eagles-lite, their version of Dylan's "The Wicked Messenger" pierces the heart of the lyric's enigmas with Don Heffington's hand drum and Jay Thomas's eerie saxophone lines. The creaky lead vocals of Mike Phelan and Ed Littlefield Jr. won't make you forget the Beach Boys or the Stanley Brothers, but the band's harmonies are surely in that tight, sweet tradition. --Roy KastenSince forming 20 years ago, Marley's Ghost has built a singular reputation among discerning roots-music lovers for its ultra-tight four-part harmonies, instrumental virtuosity, and animated live performances. On Spooked, the band's eighth album but its first to receive a full-fledged national release, Marley's Ghost creates a musically sophisticated, thematically rich piece of work that serves as a belated coming-out party for a band that deserves to be more widely heard.

The album bears the stamp of two legendary figures whose idiosyncratic skills match up beautifully with the band's own--composer/arranger/player Van Dyke Parks, who jumped at the chance to produce, and cartoonist R. Crumb, who illustrated the package.

According to Van Dyke Parks, "I simply tried to strengthen the group's conviction. For example, I insisted they do things to bring enunciation to the parts they played. We'd double guitar parts using techniques I'd learned from people like Brian Wilson. I dragged these guys through the production mud. I've never worked harder or had more fun on a record."

For the album, recorded at the Sage Arts Studio on the rustic banks of "an unpronounceable river" in Washington state, Parks brought in such renowned players as guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Buell Neidlinger, and drummer Don Heffington to complement the core band on select tracks. With the goal of delivering an album "that will have some degree of permanence," Parks became an auxiliary band-member himself, playing piano, Hammond B-3 organ, marimba and chimes. "I got to be the fifth wheel and enjoyed it immensely," he says.

One of the reference points for Spooked was Ry Cooder's self-titled 1970 debut, which Parks arranged and co-produced. Another was the Band's 1968 landmark, Music from Big Pink. The album contains 12 originals that range from such deftly witty and satirical compositions as "Get Off the Track," "Last Words," "There's Religion in Rhythm," and "The Ballad of Johnny Hallyday" to touches of stone country ("High Walls"), white gospel ("Last Words," "Old-Time Religion") and the Stephen Foster-steeped "Love, Not Reason." The band also covers Bob Dylan's "Wicked Messenger" and the Civil War-era "Sail Away, Ladies," which salutes the album's closing track, "Seaman's Hymn."

The front cover, illustrated by R. Crumb, depicts a decidedly "spooked" Marley's Ghost. The back cover depicts the same band spellbound and transformed, smiling upwards at an intertwined mermaid and devil. Marley's Ghost member Dan Wheetman used to be in Crumb's Cheap Suit Serenaders. Crumb is a fan of Marley's Ghost's music.

Marley's Ghost is comprised of Dan Wheetman (vocals, bass, rhythm guitar, fiddle, harmonica, banjo, Dobro, lap steel), Jon Wilcox (vocals, mandolin, rhythm guitar, guitar, bouzouki), Mike Phelan (vocals, lead guitar, fiddle, Dobro, bass, lap steel), and Ed Littlefield Jr. (vocals, pedal steel guitar, Highland bagpipes, keyboards, mandolin, Dobro, lead guitar). They make their homes along the West Coast variously between Northern California and Washington state.

Please note: we do not provide any Marley's Ghost music downloads, have no any mp3 music including music samples and music ringtones, and can not assist you where to buy music CDs and used CDs. You can search for it on music sites all over the Internet or visit one of our advertisers. We appreciate any ideas and comments about this experimental music database.