heart of a ghost

heart of a ghost

 Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

progressive and experimental folk-rock


Soon after John Fenn learned to play guitar he started writing songs. The already published poet then set out to learn drums, bass and keyboards in an effort to enable himself to craft the sound he heard inside. In the spirit of artists such as Pete Yorn and Conor Oberst, he writes, arranges, performs, engineers and produces.

John's folk influenced rock can be strongly based on acoustic guitar rhythms that suggest elements from bluegrass to celtic. Musical influences range from Pink Floyd to Nick Drake to The Carter Family.

In 2000 John teamed up with Aaron Measham of Icabod Crane and Michael McMahon of Swampape to form the rock band Precious Doe. It was from this platform that he trancended the singer\songwriter genre to write and arrange for what was to become one of the greatest rock bands to be labeled jamband in the region.

In 2002 John joined Sandy Herrault of Celtic Soul, Jason Dulin of Neil Anderson and Dennis Shearin to front the progressive celtic band The Merrows.In 2003 they recorded 'Field of Stone', and successively toured the southeast winning regional favor.


The Plan

Written By: John Fenn Steila

Time is ripe, they have been seen rising from their sleep.
The laborers sent forth to reap roots both dead and deep.
Those dirty hands commit deeds not of their own accord.
And as for us time has a worth we can not afford.
Just let me think, I'll only take just a week or two.
I've got a plan but it can only save me and you.
If its alright, thats only just the best I can do.

Eyes that sleep, if you look close you'll see hands that shake.
These troubled minds long for the time when they not need wake.
Those blackened hands commit deeds dark as these words we speak.
And who can stand, called on for strenth when we are so weak.
Which of you who stand among us will be standing long?
Some came so far yet even now doubt if they did wrong.
Unbroken chain, each side is armed with foes which wont bend.
Put to the last when all along there was just one end.

we are waiting

Written By: John Fenn Steila

at the age of seventeen, in a prison locked away
there i passed the night in watching, on the eve of my birthday
then God gave to me a warning, scattered clouds moved across the moon
and i laughed to Him my thank you, for my time is coming soon
there are things that come between us, and they will for all our lives
when our time on earth has ended, this flesh and bone will rise
you must make to me this promise, you will heed the words i speak
when the sheep and them are counted, not to be numbered with the weak
we are waiting for you, we are waiting for you, we are waiting for you, we are waiting for you
there is evidence most potent, and we read it in the dust
if the trees do not release us, then destroy this world we must
there are eyes which ever watching, we have heard the news of late
all our hopes and fears have come here, what is there now for to wait
now the sea has emptied herself, in our village and our town
and the fishermen have all drowned, to the mountains we must run
if i fall behind in travel, you must leave me in the way
let your heart remember these words, i will see you again on that day

mama's best

Written By: John Fenn Steila

Heaven knows what you can find
with a ticket for a railcar line
a pocket full of lover's hair
and a dream left incomplete

I left my job and I left my home
I heard every steel rail leads to Rome
she took my heart and I lost my head
when she spoke those evil words

(chorus) Mama had a good love
Mama had a good love
Mama had a good love
but she threw it all away

Now I feel like I've nothing left
my face ain't fair and my hands ain't deft
loneliness sits next to me and
sadness works the bar

If I can't tell the truth be told
then I may live til I grow old
the scars she caused still stay with me
you can read em in my bones


I can see the end of the line
and I'm feeling like I've wasted my time
whiskeys got my head afloat
and I don't know if I'll stand

But so goes the plan of a man brokedown
when he's tryin to get miles from a dead end town
the man in the front just asked me to leave
so on foot I'm stumblin back home

chorus x2

Set List

Field of Stone
Bring out the dead
We are waiting
One shall stand
They're coming to life

some of the artists whose songs are covered include The Carter family, Love, Pink Floyd, Gomez, The Grateful Dead, Gordon Lightfoot, Roy Orbison, Bob Marley and Wilco plus various celtic and bluegrass tunes