Saturday, November 1, 2014
A ghost song from Jeni & Billy
Special Musical Report from Atascadero, California: To celebrate Halloween, the Day of the Dead, and All Saints Day, you can hear our ghost song, The Dominecker Hen, streaming free on Bandcamp for the next week!
This is the first song that Billy and I ever recorded together on our own in his former studio in rural Maryland. After this, we knew that we wanted to work with each other from then on.
I wrote "The Dominecker Hen" after watching the film Wisconsin Death Trip. The imagery in the film is so evocative and much of it comes from the historical photographs of small town photographer Charles van Schaick who took the photo I'm featuring.
The filmmakers also highlight the tremendous struggle faced by immigrants who chose to settle in Wisconsin without being prepared for the harsh climate.
There were also a lot of unexplained phenomena in the late 1800s in Wisconsin, if we are to believe the film.
All of this combined with my great grandmother's statement that a crowing hen meant a death coming in the family, moved me to write a ghost song.
We don't often perform this song because a lot of audience members have felt a bit un-nerved by it when we do perform it. It's a ghost tale, after all. 'Tis the season. Boo!
Historical photo by Charles van Schaick.