The latest single from Fort Worth-based Keegan McInroe is a hauntingly dark tale, told through his fine narrative lyrics and a horrific, cinematic video, which we are pleased to premiere on Americana UK. Atop unsettling percussion and lurching, staggering beats, the sorry story unfolds through McInroe’s gritty, characterful delivery: “1912 and the wife’s away // Her husband, the house maid and the devil play // Nine months there’s a baby girl // She’ll grow up hated but she won’t grow old.” The song was inspired by McInroe’s family home in Dublin, Texas. The old Victorian house is thought to be haunted and its tainted history has all the features of classic horror fiction. If the truth is even half as grim, then it remains a an awful example of humanity’s worst urges: lust, jealousy, guilt and revenge.
The vocal performance, flamboyant instrumentation and inventive rhythms bring to mind Tom Waits at his storytelling best. The song was originally intended to be part of an EP collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Michele Bertoldi from Veron. The rhythm section of her band, Michele Bombatomica and The Dirty Orkestra, helps to bring the quirky story to life, alongside the accordion and tortured backing vocals of Ginny Mac, who also appears in the video. Bertoldi herself provides guitar, banjo and ethereal, eerie-sounding saw, which is the sure sound of a haunting. The video was produced by Make Something Beautiful and directed by Warren Cook and Joseph Capps, talented storytellers who use the the original house to evoke an atmosphere of dread and display the full torment of the characters.
Keegan is known for his travel writing, poetry and stories as well as his troubadour-folk. Here, he brings it all together to create an engaging narrative performance, characterised by vocals as gritty as the storyline, released just in time for Halloween. ‘Never Seen a Ghost’ is a stark stylistic contrast to the gentle folk of recent single ‘To the Moon and Back’, a beautifully laid back song you should also explore. Enjoy.