I recently received an email from Ghost And The Big Sky guitarist, Patrick Bitbol, warning me about a CD package that he was mailing to me at The Aquarian offices. Unfortunately, I haven’t been up to the offices in a while, but I wanted to give Patrick’s band a listen. I thought that Ghost and The Big Sky was really damn good! They had this psychedelic rock feel to them, yet the music still felt bad ass. This was evident in songs like “Like A Bullet” and “Stone Crazy” with its classic rock feel, with dirty guitar riffs and bad ass vocal melodies. The songs actually leave you wanting to hear more.
Ghost and The Big Sky is a unique story about a band that was put together by a near miss, or in other words, a near death. A few years back, guitarist and songwriter Patrick Bitbol was in a really bad motorcycle accident that almost cost him his life. Patrick was hit head-on by a van, and according to the police report, his body was thrown about 70 feet from the point of impact. Because of this, Patrick has to now live with a large titanium plate on the left side of his skull. His brain even took weeks to start functioning properly again. This is an unbelievable story. The songs off of their self-titled CD began while Patrick spent two months in the brain trauma ward because supposedly, strumming his acoustic helped in his recovery. Music became his healer as he began writing riffs that would turn into songs by Ghost and The Big Sky. Singer and longtime friend Paul Gerdts would pay Patrick a visit in the hospital and before you knew it, they were writing songs together. They would later be joined by drummer Dan Scardino to complete the line-up of Ghost and The Big Sky.
The boys are currently out promoting their self-titled CD and from the crowd responses it seems Ghost And The Big Sky has found the right ingredient to rock! You need to hear these guys! Especially, if you’re a fan of The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, and Lenny Kravitz, you’ll love Ghost and The Big Sky. Check them out for yourself or find out where they’re playing next at myspace.com/ghostandthebigsky.
— Tim Louie, March 24, 2010
Steppin' Out - 3/11/10
Take a little Creedence Clearwater Revival, a handful of the Allman Brothers, a dash of Lynyrd Skynyrd, a pinch of Led Zeppelin and a whole lot of mature originality and you’ll have Ghost & the Big Sky.
North Jersey’s own Ghost & the Big Sky possess a Southern rock sound so seasoned that you’d swear they’re a band you’ve heard before but you just can’t put your finger on the name.
The foursome – vocalist Paul Gerdts, guitarist Patrick Bitpol, drummer Dan Scardino and recently departed bassist Frank Laplaca – blazed onto the music scene with their self-titled debut album just last year but are by no means strangers to entertaining. Gerdts and Bitbol played in a band together some years back, but it wasn’t until Bitbol’s two-month hospital recuperation from a near-deadly motorcycle wreck that allowed the beginning ideas for Ghost & the Big Sky to flow from his acoustic.
Bitbol has said, “We ain’t kids. We’ve seen the highest and the lowest point you can imagine. So we write about it and make our sound happen to make people smile, sing and dance, carrying the torch of original American hard rock for as long as the sun keeps shining.” Ant they do just that.
From the first county-tinged notes of “Walkin’ On Air” to the breezy, driving-down-a-dirt-road feel of “To The Edge” all the way through to the psychedelic, spiraling guitar of “Take No Chances,” Ghost & the Big Sky deliver a playful, diverse album that’s perfect for a wild night out or a comfortable night in.
Get your dancing shoes ready for “Stone Cold,” “Like a Bullet and “Goin’ In Bad” because there’s no way you can stop your body from moving to these tunes!
Refill you glass and sit back to enjoy the soothing sounds of “She Didn’t Know” and “Hangin’ By a Thread.”
Catch Ghost & the Big Sky at the Country Line Pub in Pine Brook next Friday, March 19 at 9p.m.
For more information and upcoming gigs, check out www.ghostandthebigsky.com.
— Shauna Thompson
www.listentobluesdaddy.blogspot.com - 12/22/09
I first discovered Ghost & The Big Sky on Jango. When you create playlists on Jango every now and then a new artist pops up so you can give them a thumbs up or thumbs down. As I stated on my review on Jango, I'm very picky when it comes to new music. But after listening to Bordertown (a strong Stevie Ray influence here), I thought to myself this band had promise. I included my link back to my site in the review and a short time later, Patrick Bitbol, lead guitarist of the band, wrote me an email to offer a listen to his CD which he was gladly putting in the mail to me. I got it last night and while the wife was wrapping gifts I threw it in the player while sitting down to a strong cup of coffee. The first thing in my mind when I started hearing G&TBS was "they kinda sound like the Allman Brothers" when lo and behold the wife says "Is that the Allman Bros."? I knew then I was in for a good listen. The first song on the CD was "Walkin' On Air". A nice diddy with some slide guitar which I love, especially being a big Elmore James fan. The third song "To The Edge" was a song I really liked. This is where the Allman Bros reference is very well apparent. Not that this is a bad thing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But this is not a Allman Bros copy band. There are enough original tunes to form a very good foundation of blues, rock, alternative sounds that go good with a well lit cigar on a breezy night on the patio coupled with a nice snifter of Tuaca. Being a bassist, and not at all a good one, I enjoyed "Like A Bullet" with some very good bass poppin' to go with some strong slide work. Nice touch guys! All said and done this is a very well produced CD for a non-labeled band. A great find. G&TBS will be in my library for years to come and I'm hoping that I get to hear more from them in the near future.
By Arnie Castro, www.listentobluesdaddy.blogspot.com
Jersey Beat - 9/09/09
GHOST & THE BIG SKY (www.ghostandthebigsky.com) Serving up ten songs worth of lively and flavorsome 70's style Southern rock, this local New Jersey band gets right down to business and delivers the smoothly rockin’ goods in a pleasingly crisp and unpretentious way. The vocals are hearty and passionate, the songwriting smart, thoughtful, and mature, the arrangements clear, tight and uncluttered, and the basic sound boasts plenty of soul and harmony in equal measure. The guitars come through with plenty of diggin’ riffs, the drums are sturdy and persistent, and the basslines keep things chuggin’ along at a steady clip. Better still, these guys can work a fiercely grinding groove like nobody’s business. What’s not to like?
— Joe Wawyrzniak, JerseyBeat.com