Blues Rock gone Hollywood? Now don’t be starting a social media thread! I just wanted to get your attention. The Ghost Hounds latest release, First Last Time is the real attention grabber here! The album is the second release from Gibson Records of guitar manufacturing fame. It follows the label’s first official release in 2022, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators fourth album titled 4. Ghost Hounds is the vision of guitarist and songwriter Thomas Tull which initially formed over a decade ago in Los Angeles. He brought Ghost Hounds to life in 2009 with a self-titled album produced by Nile Rodgers.
Then Hollywood really did happen. Tull, it turns out, is also an entrepreneur. He was part of a little production company called Legendary Entertainment. You might have heard of them with The Hangover, The Dark Knight Rises, and Jurassic World to their credit. Despite striking gold in ‘Legendary’ fashion, Tull sold his interest in the production company and returned to music. However, time stands still for no one as original Ghost Hounds members, Ty Taylor and Nalle Colt had gone on to a band called Vintage Trouble. Tull needed new hounds.
Collaborating with David Grissom who has gigs with John Mellencamp and the Allman Brothers Band on his resume and Kevin Bowe, with Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Lynyrd Skynyrd on his, the material was created for Roses Are Black released in November 2019. To bring this content to life, he brought in Johnny Baab on guitars, Bennett Miller on bass, Joe Munroe on keys, Blaise Lanzetta on drums, and Tre’ Nation to front the band on vocals. A Little Calamity followed in 2021 and You Broke Me was their third release in 2022. Ghost Hounds maximized their time on the road touring with heavyweights The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Garth Brooks, and Bob Seger. You can hear their influences throughout First Last Time.
“Last Train to Nowhere” has a full country rock sound with a little extra guitar spice that would make Garth proud. Hollywood, not far in the review mirror, took notice as “Last Train to Nowhere” frames a pivotal moment in the premiere episode of “Special Ops: Lioness” featuring Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, and Zoe Saldana which aired July 23. “Dirty Angel” was the first single off the album and drew immediate attention and anticipation. The title track, “First Last Time” is a slower paced tune about coming to terms with a painful life lesson and our human tendency to repeat them. ‘A sin is a sin even if you confess. Make your peace or it will tear you apart.’ “Make it Shake” is an upbeat motivational rocker. “Let’s Sleep on It Together” could be a sister track to a similarly titled Stones song. A rockabilly influence can be heard on “Chasing You”. “Love You Too Hard” is reminiscent of 80’s rock radio. The album adds a little fun with a Zeppelin lovers’ guilty pleasure “Hot Dog” and John Denver’s classic “Country Roads”.
First Last Time is an album without flaws. You can literally set it on repeat and take joy in whatever activity you are doing at the time. I personally recommend an adult beverage and not much else. The tracks both flow together and stand on their own. It is an exceptionally good album that is going to set the bar high for these Ghost Hounds.
The Review 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– First Last Time
– Last Train to Nowhere
– Make it Shake
– Dirty Angel
– First Last Time