Don't take this the wrong way, but Ghosts of the Highway might be a little late for its show at the Rouge Lounge on Tuesday. The duo, which mixes Jeff Andrew's musical talents with the spoken-word work of shane avec i grec, plans on getting there in a decades-old Toyota 4Runner. As Andrew explains over the phone from Vancouver, the truck might be a bit past its best-before date.
"It's been reliable, but lately it's been falling apart," he says. "Starter's falling off the motor. I've been in grease up to my elbows trying to bolt the thing back together."
That slap-dash, DIY approach also shows up in Andrew's music, which he describes as "hobo-noir." It presents a street-level view of the world through fiddle and acoustic guitar and stories of poverty and hardship. His latest EP, Treehouses and Trainsmoke, even features chord changes in the liner notes to help others learn the songs.
Like most of the music Andrew writes, the material on the EP draws inspiration from his extensive hitchhiking experience. If that sounds a little on the rough side, well, that's OK with Andrew. An engaging, rambling conversationalist, he unabashedly praises "hoboing." Hoboing, he explains, means "being out on the road and living the way you want to live. Making the world into what you want it to be rather than taking what's put before you and just trying to slot yourself into someone else's box."
(Rouge Lounge, $10)