Formed when its members – Grant Curless, Wils Quinn, and Shawn Reynolds – were in their freshman year, Johnny Conqueroo’s early EP’s saw them writing long, grungy blues jams, spiraling in and out of swampy dirges as the band played what they felt, acting on instinct in a fervent rock’n’roll endeavor. The trio naturally shied from prototypical indie or hipster leanings, focusing instead on downtrodden street stories inspired by Southern surroundings.
The forthcoming Haint Blue EP sees the band maturing and expanding without abandoning their roots. Challenged by producer Duane Lundy (Ringo Starr, Vandaveer) to pursue a collection of thematically similar material, Haint Blue tells an Appalachian tragedy of sorts, twining together stories of men and women in downward spirals , becoming homeless, being falsely accused of crimes and knocking on the door of purgatory like a ball of barbed wire.
Named for the shade of blue color believed to repel trapped house spirits (“haints”), the EP was recorded in a Kentucky house from the 1800’s in a series of fast and simple takes to capture the band’s raucous live sound in a way that’s sure to help them carve a new niche within the Lexington music scene – one that sets them apart from their peers and girds them for a national breakout. “It’s a new chapter,” says Curless. “The last album was us kind of feeling out different sounds, and this new one is a real cohesive album. It’s a settling-in.”