The Haunted Windchimes
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The Haunted Windchimes


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"American dreamers Pueblo's Haunted Windchimes embrace the spirit of the road"

Ask Inaiah Lujan for a lyric, and he'll likely end up singing you a whole song.

"I've got to sing it in order to remember it," he apologizes, reaching for the nearest ukulele and venturing into "American Dream," a ballad he wrote during a hitchhiking tour across the United States.

Long before he reaches the chorus — "And I'll give thanks to the cities / Who fed us and kept us clean / And to hell with all the rest of you / Destroying the American Dream" — the other Haunted Windchimes have softly joined in, along with a couple of houseguests who clearly know all the words as well.

Like a modern-day version of the Monkees, the Windchimes all live in the same Pueblo house, a comfortable refuge of the sort that realtors like to call cozy. Inaiah and his sister Chela moved here from Arizona, after spending 11 years on a Navajo reservation where their father taught. ("We were kind of adopted into the lifestyle of the Navajo," says Inaiah. "It was a real cool experience to draw from musically.") Desirae Garcia, the group's third member, was a Kansas-born Army brat whose mother — a nurse and midwife — wore the uniform in the family. A third Lujan, brother Robbie, shares the house and accompanied the group on this summer's tour, performing with them in a side project called the Mexican. Venus In Furs, possibly the only cat in Pueblo to be named after a Velvet Underground song, rounds out the household.

Described by Indy music columnist Adam Leech, an early Windchimes adopter, as "soft-spoken, polite and genuine nearly to a fault," the group is also startlingly unique. Their reverence for the likes of Leadbelly and Robert Johnson, artists long dead before any of them were born, is one thing; their ability to play in that tradition with such soulfulness and conviction is virtually unheard of for a group whose oldest member, Inaiah, just turned 25.

Already, the Haunted Windchimes have the charisma, talent and originality to hold their own against the likes of Vampire Weekend, DeVotchKa and other headliners at this past weekend's Monolith Festival up at Red Rocks outside Denver. Of course, making such a leap would depend on a whole different set of factors, from shifting popular tastes to professional connections to sheer luck. In many ways, they are aiming much higher, placing music and community first, creating a compelling, original repertoire and paying homage to the artists in whose footsteps they follow.

And then, there are those harmonies: sometimes sweet, often haunting, always beautiful — inspired, according to Inaiah, by artists ranging from the Carter Family to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Lujans, self-taught, play largely by ear; Desirae grew up singing in her church and school choirs, and learning music theory.

From her Nashville-meets-Delta-blues "Summer Solstice" to Chela's hypnotic "Little Bones" (which, it turns out, is about dominoes, though she left the lyrics open enough to allow darker interpretations), the Haunted Windchimes' originals fit seamlessly alongside covers of Woody Guthrie's biblical "Sowing on the Mountain" and Leadbelly's plantation-inspired "Take this Hammer."

On an early September afternoon, as a breeze rustles the trees and the normally animated Venus In Furs falls asleep to the drone of a visiting interviewer, the Haunted Windchimes proceed to talk about touring in the midst of tornadoes and hurricanes, the art of impoverishment and, of course, the crickets who sing along with Chela and Desirae every time they record their vocal harmonies.

Highway star

"Something happened to me on the road," says Inaiah of his pre-Windchimes tour back in 2006. "I really got in tune with this different spirit out there, just the idea of not being tied down to anything and really experiencing freedom on a different level."

Leaning forward on the living room couch with a cigarette in hand, Inaiah is explaining the origins of "American Dream." A staple of the trio's live shows, it was written after a long hitchhike from Omaha, Neb., to Chicago. The song's primary inspiration, he says, was that "America is such a great concept, and I definitely think there are ways to tap into the true freedom of it. And one is getting rid of all your money, and just doing what you want to do. So 'American Dream' was a chronicle of me and Mikey's travels."

Mikey, an extensively tattooed and pierced gentleman who's been sitting quietly across the living room, takes over the story.

"He would play, and I would make sure that nobody would mess with him," Mikey says in the soft-spoken tone of a guy who never needs to raise his voice. "For people who don't know me, if I'm not trying to be friendly, you know, the tattoos and all the piercings really put them off. I did have to tell one homeless dude that he had to go away, because he'd walk past and eyeball the money that was in [Inaiah's] case, and he'd walk away and then come back and eyeball it again. I had to go up to him and say, like, 'Hey man, you have to move on, because if I see you again, we're going to have to do the man-dance.'"

The homeless guy went away and was soon replaced by a bevy of off-key frat boys.

"This is around the middle of September, so we're hitting college towns," recalls Lujan, "We would strategically go set up on the corner, like, right after a Huskers game in Lincoln, so there's just like hundreds of people on the strip, and I'd play some Sublime or something that college kids are really into. And they'd just be throwing money in the case, which paid for our food."

Steel City blues

"Look out there — doesn't it look just like the 1950s?" asks a Pueblo record-store owner whose shop, appropriately enough, is overflowing with vintage vinyl.

Well, yes and no. The public library jutting up against the otherwise-even skyline is decidedly modern, but Pueblo does have a small-town feel on this sunny, late-summer afternoon. Through the years, the decline of heavy industry has made the former "Steel Town" more quiet by day. Meanwhile, a shortage of live music venues keeps Pueblo — and its musicians — pretty quiet after the sun goes down.
No one driving: The Windchimes and brother Robbie, aka the Mexican, hit the road.
No one driving: The Windchimes and brother Robbie, aka the Mexican, hit the road.
Photo by Jeremy Eyman

"There's not a lot of places to play down here." says Inaiah. "And the sad thing about this town is, a lot of places that have the potential to get going just don't end up working out. There is a really good punk rock scene, though that's always kind of up and down. But when it's booming, it's really good. And we go up to the Springs and up to Denver. Taking little trips out of town, it's like a quick fix."

It's not entirely surprising that, except during summer tours, Colorado Springs has become the Windchimes' home away from home. They've played numerous gigs at venues like Kinfolks, the Rocket Room and the Black Sheep.

And it's all because of Rupert Murdoch: Thanks to a local coffeehouse's MySpace page, Inaiah first reached out to Colorado Springs, and one particular resident, back in June 2006.

"They had a handful of friends, and I recognized all of them except for Desi. I figured she lived in the Pueblo area and, you know, I was a lonely guy," he says with a laugh.

"We always say we have to come up with a better story," says Desirae.

"But it was real innocent," adds Inaiah. "We talked on the phone before we ever met, and I was dealing with some really bad insomnia at the time, so I'd call her at all odd hours of the night and we would just talk for hours. We came up with the whole concept of the Haunted Windchimes the first time we ever talked."

Haunted past

The name came from a discussion of ghosts and Inaiah recalling how the windchimes outside his parents' house were always blowing, even though there was no wind. The rest is recent history.

"I guess we were kind of just humoring each other's grandiose ideas and schemes, like, 'Yeah, we're totally going to be in this band called the Haunted Windchimes!' And it wasn't long before I found out she could actually sing when she picked me up and sang along to the car stereo at the top of her lungs."

"I get really funny looks when I drive along," explains Desirae. "I was probably listening to the Velvet Underground, a lot, and Fiona Apple, maybe some Violent Femmes. And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I wanted a band just like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! I told him, 'I wish I could sing cool like that, so I could be in a chick band.'"

"We definitely had different tastes," says Inaiah, whose mother sang her kids to sleep with Neil Young and Bob Dylan songs. (This was before child-abuse laws became more strict.) "But we were both open to learning other artists and music from each other."

Summer 2007 found Inaiah and Desirae hitting the road together, while Chela headed west to California by herself to boost her confidence.

"I was playing music just by myself, going to open-mic nights and just getting rid of the anxiety of performing in front of people," says Chela, who found comfort in the presence of strangers. "No one knew me and I was like, 'Yeah, OK!'"

Desirae and Inaiah, meanwhile, played scheduled tour dates for two weeks, then improvised for another four. The primary aim was to acquire road experience. They revisited a lot of places where Inaiah had played the year before — Bloomington, Ind., Indianapolis, Omaha, Neb., — then ventured into unexplored terrain with a trip to the South.

"That's where the sound just kind of shifted," says Desirae. "We got to Nashville and wrote a song ["Summer Solstice"] that turned out sounding way different from anything we'd ever done before. It sounded kinda like Nashville. And that's when it started changing."

"Yeah, I was really taken by the South," adds Inaiah. "Walking around towns like Savannah, Ga., and just kind of feeling the history there, you know? Whether it be negative or positive, there was definitely, like, a presence in the South and I think we were really tapping into that."

Armed with a bunch of CDs burned by a friend in Bloomington, the pair became enamored with Woody Guthrie and Ramblin' Jack Elliot. But it wasn't until they reached Louisiana that their love affair with folk/blues singer Leadbelly bloomed fully.

As is so often the case, the revelation came as the sun was rising over a Wal-Mart.

"We were driving through Alabama and Mississippi, just seeing all this beautiful countryside," says Inaiah of the imminent epiphany, "and then we ended up sleeping in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Shreveport [La.]. We were busted broke, having just left Alabama, where we made just enough money to get us to Texas, where our next show was, and we had already driven about 16 straight hours. I'd heard you can sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots — they won't mess with you — and it was so hot and humid in the middle of summer.
Its alive: The Chimes in concert
Its alive: The Chimes in concert

"But Shreveport's also the birthplace of Leadbelly, kind of his old stomping grounds. So we learned 'Good Night, Irene' the next morning, right after we got McGriddles, which made us sick. I'd always been enamored with Leadbelly, but that was the first time I actually stopped myself and thought, 'What the hell is he saying here?' And when we sat down and wrote out the lyrics, and I saw the words for the first time, I was like, 'This is brilliant.'"

The duo made it to the Lone Star State, albeit somewhat worse for wear.

"We'd spent our last $10 on McDonald's," says Desirae, "and we were still regretting it as we rolled into Denton on empty."

Meet the crickets

Back home in Pueblo, Inaiah and Desirae reunited with Chela and began plotting Verse/Visa, their second studio album (recently reissued as a split CD with the Mexican's Funeral Pop debut). When it came time to record, they retreated to the Lujan parents' basement, which they dubbed Distant Dream Studios.

The sessions went smoothly, with one twist: an army of showbiz-stricken insects.

"We had a severe cricket problem in the basement," Inaiah says, lamenting the nocturnal choir that found its way onto the album.

"Every time me and Desi would come in with our vocals, these crickets would just start up," says Chela. "It was only when me and Desi would sing."

"But it worked, though," says Inaiah. "At first I'm like, 'God, these crickets are so loud.' But they really added to it. The cool thing about it is that the crickets actually began to chirp in time."

(Fun fact: Varying temperatures influence the rate of a cricket's chirp; the relationship between the two is known as Dolbear's Law.)

The group's sound, meanwhile, continued to evolve.

"On our first album, we knew we wanted it to fit the name and be haunting and have all these minor ballads and long epic songs on the album," says Inaiah. "But I think that after our next album, [the live] An Evening With [the Haunted Windchimes], it kind of changed form and became more folky and rootsy, more what it is now."

Riders on the storm

This past June, an augmented Windchimes (the trio plus Robbie, aka "The Mexican" Lujan) hit the road again. This time, the road hit back.

"The first couple weeks of the tour were really weird," recalls Desirae. "Like the first night we left, we drove into this huge tornado warning. We were driving underneath this massive storm from, like, Pueblo to Iowa."

Somewhere in Nebraska, a hailstorm took out the windshield wipers on their Dodge Caravan. The group made its way to Kearney that night, checking into a motel and learning a tornado had hit the town a half-hour before their arrival. After checking out the next morning, they found themselves driving slowly through streets of demolished cars.

"The same thing happened in Omaha," says Inaiah, although that time, the brunt of the storm hit while they were sleeping safely in a basement (or think tank, as their friends insisted it be called).

"The next morning we walked to breakfast," says Inaiah, "and traffic lights were knocked over; lamp posts were laying on top of cars."

"And our van had, like, one leaf stuck to the side of it," adds Desirae.

Concerned the group's luck might run out before the plague of locusts arrived, Chela made a fateful decision: "I had named us the Four Horsemen, but after that, I was like, 'OK, we have to rename ourselves.'"
Shady characters: The trio at home.
Shady characters: The trio at home.

"Everywhere we went, there was a disaster," Inaiah adds. "We're like, 'Are we the Four Horsemen? Are we bringing the apocalypse?'"

To be on the safe side, Chela rechristened them the Light Bearers.

"And actually," says Desirae, "the tour took a drastic change after that."

With Mother Nature apparently satiated, human nature began to enter the picture. In Bloomington, the group was staying with another friend when they woke up to find that her car had been stolen. The villain, who'd crashed a porch gathering the night before and then slipped inside the house to grab the keys, had the profile of a serial thief — a grill and bicycle having previously disappeared into the night.

"But we were the Scooby-Doo gang," says Desirae, beaming, "so we made it OK because we had a Mexican stakeout party the next night. And so we stayed up with about 10 people on the front porch and another 10 on the back porch, and sure enough, at about 3 in the morning, [the suspect] actually came back."

Once confronted, the woman broke down, insisting she'd gone in the house looking for pills, but knew nothing about the car. The police arrived, discovered she was a felon, and hauled her off.

"We have the article, actually, and the cops took all the credit — 'Cops foil criminal,'" Desirae says. "They didn't mention how we detained her. They didn't say anything about the Scooby-Doo gang."

Nor, it turns out, did they return the car, though they did find its driver's manual.

"But the weirdest thing is that they stole Liz's rubber plant," says Inaiah. "And that's what actually threw her over the edge."

"She's so mellow," says Desirae. "She's like, 'Oh, it's just a car, whatever. Maybe it's like the universe telling me that I should just ride a bike more.'"

"Yeah," says Inaiah, "but then she's like, 'Those fuckers stole my fucking rubber plant!'"

Gotta keep moving

While Inaiah and his cohorts have yet to find the American Dream out there, they've caught some glimpses. Surrounded by an array of multi-denominational decorations (a couple of tabletop Buddhas, Chela's painting of Shiva the Destroyer, a prayer flag in the front yard), they can't help but convey an innocence and idealism as timeless as their music. The months on the road have only served to reinforce their belief in synchronicity, karma and the kindness of strangers.

"I think in order to properly sing harmony, you have to be harmonious in the group," says Inaiah, which explains the stunning harmonies of a trio that lives together, tours together and attends community college together.

That personal energy, he figures, can create change on a broader level.

"If you put out good energy, I'm of the belief that you get it back," he says. "Through music, we can communicate with a lot of people and we can all be under the same roof enjoying music and it doesn't matter what color we are or what our political stance is. You know, all that goes away."

Until, that is, the show ends.

"Yeah," Inaiah responds quietly. "When the music stops, the man dies."

Fortunately, the Haunted Windchimes show no sign of stopping any time soon. Through the band's homegrown label, Blank-Tape Records, Chela and Desirae have solo albums coming out. The label is also home to Inaiah's punk band, A Poor Substitute, as well as a Nashville folk-punk collective called Happy Box. As if that weren't enough, Inaiah is trying to take the sting out of turning 25 by recording and posting one new song to his MySpace page each day for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, the Windchimes just keep moving, to borrow from an Inaiah song that Desirae describes as "so Johnny Cash that it hurts."

"We do 'Folsom Prison Blues' at the end of 'Gotta Keep Moving,'" explains Inaiah, "just to show that these are traditional chords and traditional melodies. And you know, Johnny Cash isn't even the first person to write it."

It may not be as expansive as, say, Elvis Presley's "An American Trilogy" medley, but it still gets job done.

"These melodies get reworked and the stories become different and that's just the tradition of song," Inaiah says. "I think that, to me, the Haunted Windchimes are really just trying to uphold that whole tradition of passing down the song."

— - Bill Forman - Colorado Springs Independent (cover story)

"Haunted Windchimes have a new album, and Adam Leech already is in love with it."

by Adam Leech

Have I ever mentioned that I am absolutely in love with the Haunted Windchimes — the band, the songs, the members, the artwork, everything about them? They are truly a world-class band, and I will not rest until the whole world knows it. Did you hear that, "National Music Press?" I am calling you out! This is it, "American folk music, 2010," at its finest. Now grab the damn baton, already!

But seriously, I've been listening to my autographed "Advanced Promotional Copy" of their brand-new album, Honey Moonshine, for the better part of the past three days, and with all the nerves and giddy anticipation of a schoolyard brat with his puppy stuffed in a box at show-and-tell, I am honored to be the first to report on its absolute brilliance. Superbly understated, it's every bit as enticing, radiant and sweetly intoxicating as the home-brewed spirit the album was named after.

Be careful. Do not underestimate its potency. It will creep up on you. And much like the famous Prohibitionists' creed, first you play the album, but before you know it, the album is playing you.

Not to overshadow the quality of craftsmanship, or the expert delivery of the songs themselves, but much credit should go to Mr. Butch Hause and the Western Jubilee Warehouse recording studio family, which took the young band under their unequivocally talented wings.

"Butch was amazing," says founding member and lead male vocalist Inaiah Lujan. "He would trick us all the time. We'd start getting a little nervous and over-thinking takes and he'd say, 'Let's just do a dry run and we won't record it.' And when we'd get done, he would be like, 'That sounded great, we got it! That's the one that's going on the album.'"

Inaiah, who leads the group with his guitar and vocals, gladly shares the spotlight (and songwriting duties) with his lovely girlfriend, and dare I say "soulmate," Desirae Garcia (baritone ukelele, vocals), his sister Chela Lujan (banjo, vocals) and their recent adoptees: Sean Fanning (stand-up bass, ukelele) and Mike Clark (guitar, mandolin, harmonica) of Jack Trades fame. All together, they are a musical force that hasn't been felt, least 'round these parts, I can only assume, for decades.

Honey Moonshine is set for release this Saturday, March 20, with a "gala"-style performance at Stargazers Theater, formerly (and again for just this one evening) the Colorado Opry Hall (10 S. Parkside Drive). Tickets for the show are just $10, but for an extra $10 you get a copy of the CD, too. Music starts at 8, with Joe Johnson followed by Changing Colors. For more information on the album, the show, or the band's forthcoming national tour, visit - Adam Leech - Colorado Springs Independent

"The Band That Made Pueblo Cool"

Well, to those in the know, Pueblo has always been cool. But The Haunted Windchimes just reminded us all. They’re one of our favorite bands around here at KRCC. Not only has the Pueblo-based band created a Western sound with deep local roots, but they’ve also rolled it out onto the dance floor of the future so we can all stomp our feet to it. That, and they’re just great people, always willing to play a backyard party, a Meadowgrass or to give our listeners a free song (see above). In other words, they are both of and about us all. And we like that.

As such, we’d be remiss if we didn’t implore you to help them celebrate the release of their brand new CD, Honey-Moonshine at Stargazers Theatre this Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. You can click HERE or see the poster below for full details. And scroll down to see a video of the Haunted Windchimes recording the title track from their new album at the amazing Western Jubilee Recording Studios here in Colorado Springs. - KRCC's The Big Something


Our beloved Haunted Windchimes have put the wraps on their latest chronicle of the 21st-century American folk song. By the name of Honey Moonshine, this future treasured artifact was engineered by the great Butch Hause (best known for his work with the great cowboy crooner Don Edwards) at the equally great Western Jubilee, and will first become available at a gala release event March 20 at Stargazers Theatre. Until then, you can visit for a free download of their wonderfully melancholy rendition of the early 1930s Huddie Ledbetter masterpiece "Goodnight, Irene," as well as a video of the group performing the title track at Western Jubilee. - Adam Leech - Colorado Springs Independent

"Omnivore's Delight 7: Q&A"

Sure as the overflowing soul in their nomadic tunes, The Haunted Windchimes are giving folk music yet another modern revitalization. These Colorado natives (and others like them) are steadily introducing young listeners all over the country to the nostalgia of folk music with a fresh twist, all while maintaining the same traditional roots themes and lyrics that have touched audiences for decades. Attribute it to the wide-open spaces and intimate spirit of the road, or to the band’s contagious easygoing life style. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Windchimes’ reinvigorated sound is gaining momentum from coast to coast. Guitarist / vocalist Inaiah Lujan was kind enough to answer a few questions about The Haunted Windchimes’ music, their philosophies on the West, true freedom and good vibrations. Check out what he has to say below!


OS: How did the Haunted Windchimes come to be, and where did you come up with the idea for that fantastic name?

HW: I was dealing with some severe insomnia when my Desirae Garcia (ukulele, vocals) came into my life in 2006. We had a chance meeting via MySpace and spoke on the phone before we ever met. We’d have these epic conversations and spoke as if we were old friends. Somewhere along the lines we got on the topic of windchimes, and how I thought mine were haunted because they would chime without a hint of wind. She too had a tale of windchimes, and we toyed with the idea of starting a band called The Haunted Windchimes! I don’t think either of us could have anticipated or predicted how far it would go. We were planting seeds, and in the harvest of that year, these seeds and dreams begin to grow and become our reality.

OS: You guys seem to find a new musician to draw influences from (Leadbelly, Hank Williams Sr., Dylan, Patsy Cline) everywhere you travel, in turn creating a very unique sound. Who were you listening to when you first started playing music as kids?

HW: We all come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds, my sister Chela (banjo, vocals) and I grew up with a music lover for a Mom and often fell asleep to the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and her favorite Neil Young. She would take us for long drives and listen to her favorite songs, and we’d all sing along. The first band I ever truly loved was Queen! I started off on the piano, listening to composers like Chopin and Beethoven. Freddy Mercury and Queen taught me that music could be fun and catchy too. Desirae grew up with a music lover for a father who leaned more towards soulful and jazzier music. She joined a southern-style choir when she was a young girl in Savannah, Georgia. Because her mom was in the military, they moved around quite a bit, giving Desirae in even broader scope on the world and the world of music all around her.
Haunted Windchimes in Concert

Haunted Windchimes in Concert

OS: From Paper Bird to Rojos Calientes, there seems to have been a resurgence of folk and Americana with a modern twist on the Colorado music scene in recent years. Do you attribute this pattern at all to the lifestyles and atmosphere particular to the West? If so, what do you think it is about the West that inspires these sounds more so than other parts of the country?

HW: In the West you have all the inspiration in the world to write songs while in a traditional folk setting. From the beautiful rocky mountains to the various valleys and rivers, and there always seems to be a train whistle blowing somewhere off in the distance. Pueblo, Colorado, where we are from, particularly has an old timey feel. There is a lot of history in this town, and that seems to resonate on every street corner.

OS: As a native Coloradoan myself, I know there is limited civilization East, South, and West of Pueblo for many miles. Has this handicapped your ability to spread your music on a larger scale? Or have you found a niche spreading your music by playing in the tiny cafes and coffee houses scattered throughout rural America?

HW: We’ve managed to carve out quite a niche for ourselves here in Colorado. The music scene is always in flux, always changing and growing. With the help of some great friends in the Colorado Springs area and dedicated fans, we have had great success! We play the majority of our live shows (while in our home state) in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. We continue to work on branching out to more places such as Grand Junction, Aspen, Denver, Boulder and others.

OS: Whether battling natural disasters, fast food, or insufficient funds, you guys have always persevered to move onto the next town during your marathon summer tours, and in some senses lived the concept of true freedom, an idea at the center of your idea of America. How have these journeys in pursuit of complete freedom affected your songwriting?

MWCUHMGWLGNJ-largeHW: We’ve tried many times to describe this particular sense of freedom while traveling. It kind of boils down to what we have dubbed “The Spirit of the Road.” This spirit, if you can turn your mind on to it, has infinite possibilities, or so it seems. It is nurturing and giving if you simply acknowledge it and above all are thankful for its blessings. There have been many times when we’ve been flat broke trying to make it to the next town, and something will always open up, whether it be a generous donation by a stranger while busking, or a show offer that ends up paying well or leads to a chance meeting, this spirit seems to take care of us and light the way. Of course this has had a huge role on our songwriting, but more so made us appreciate the beauty of creation, and believers of the saying, “life is what you make it.”

OS: At times you’ve relied on hitchhiking as your primary mode of transportation and on busking to pay well enough to feed you. It seems as though you have placed a heavy karmic belief and enormous trust in your fellow human. Does this intimacy translate into the live performance setting?

HW: I think it has less to do with karma, and more to do with vibrations. Music is a favorable form of vibration, but we all carry a vibration as people, every city and town too. If we are aware of our own vibration we learn to work in harmony with the world around us, and thus attract like minds and energies that are complementary vibrations. You get what you give out there on the road, but most of the time you are content with giving, and sharing music, because it is a part of you, or an extension of your higher self that wishes to reconnect with its source. The same goes for our live performances! We wish to make people feel a part of something, and that we are all in it together. Sing-a-longs are a staple at a Windchimes shows

OS: Most of your songs sound at home in the folk genre, except for the richly soothing “Summer Solstice”, which is more of a slow delta 1-4-1-5-4-1 blues piece. What was the inspiration behind this song?

Haunted WindchimesHW: Everything surrounding the creation of this song is nothing short of amazing. Shortly after Desirae and I formed the Haunted Windchimes in 2006, we embarked on our first tour in the summer of 07. Before playing music with me Desirae had never been in a band or on the road without her parents. I felt like there was always this gigantic voice inside of Desirae waiting and wanting to come out. One night while in Nashville, Tennessee, we lucked out and got an impromptu gig at a place called Café Coco, we talked the owner into letting us set up on the patio and play for tips. While we were singing songs, I was coaxing Desirae to sing louder because the crowd was so loud. It didn’t quite happen during that particular performance. Later that night something inside of her seemed to turn on, as if she were being born, and seeing the world for the first time. We made our way to a log cabin where some nice folks were letting us stay in Hendersonville, and in this moment of clarity she wrote that entire song on the car ride home… It was during the summer solstice, and we later called her mom in Hawaii to sing it to her over the phone.

OS: With song titles like “Leaving Here” and “Waiting on a Train,” and lyrics like “We’re on the run and we know why,” the first time listener would assume you’re chomping at the bit get hit the road in one direction or another. Is this always the case? Or is there ever a tinge of wanting to stay put for a while?

HW: Our songs of travel have many meanings, the most obvious one is the need to escape, maybe get out of a bad situation or just a change of pace with new faces. The other much deeper meaning is the internal quest we are on (individually and as a group) constantly moving towards and seeking truth and love.

OS: Something tells me you’re not the type to keep strict plans and deadlines, but do you have any general idea of what comes next for the Haunted Windchimes?

HW: We have big plans for 2010! Right now we are scheduled to hit the studio in January to record songs for our new album Honey Moonshine, and a summer tour to promote it! I feel like we have all matured a lot as a band and as musicians since our last album and have become better friends. Our line up now consists of 5 members: Mike Clark – Harmonica / Mandolin / Guitar, Sean Fanning – Stand-Up Bass, Chela Lujan – Banjo/Vocals, Desirae Garcia – Ukulele/Vocals and Myself – Guitar/Vocals, and with the new additions it has inspired better arrangements and better songs. We’re just getting started! - Aidan R. -

"Live Review: Haunted Windchimes at Speedtrap"

The windows were fogged, the crowd was enraptured, and The Haunted Windchimes were pumping out some of the most tender, heartbreaking Americana music you could ever hope to hear.

It was darn near a perfect night of live music at the Speedtrap in Palmer Lake on Saturday – great band, intimate venue, and a crowd that cared.

The Haunted Windchimes might be Pueblo’s best export since steel, and they’re certainly one of the finest roots outfits on the Front Range.

The band is young and has the look of the bearded indie-folk that’s making the rounds these days. But their sound

is very traditional folk and blues. The songs have a vintage quality, as if they might have been written yesterday or 75 years ago.

Friends compared them to The Be Good Tanyas vocally and Old Crow Medicine Show musically, and I can buy into that. A comparison to the Tanyas’ vocals should clue you in as to how good they are.

It’s the vocal harmonies that really set them apart, a three-headed juggernaut of Desirae Garcia (ukulele), Chela Lujan (banjo) and Inaiah Lujan (guitar). When their voices blend, it is nothing short of beautiful. The sound is often moody and melancholy, but it is always deeply affecting.

That sound is embroidered by the instrumental mastery of Mike Clark (of The Jack Trades, who plays harmonica, guitar and mandolin) and the standup bass foundation of Sean Fanning.

The quintet was jammed in the corner of the Speedtrap, a tiny venue that seats maybe 25. It feels like sitting in a friend’s living room, complete with the house dog that howled its applause between every number.

But from that living room, the Windchimes took us on a journey. They sang a number of traveling tunes – “Leaving Here,” “Waiting for a Train,” “Wandering Blues,” “Gotta Keep Movin’” (which segued nicely into “Folsom Prison Blues”). And pretty soon the coffee house walls gave way to a world of train whistles, muddy rivers and bones drying in the sun, as the ghosts of Leadbelly, Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams stopped by to nod their approval.

The band turned the theme of travel into a metaphor for internal exploration, as well as a journey through the sounds of their musical forebears. And if there’s any justice in the world, the theme will become quite literal, as the Haunted Windchimes keep moving on to bigger and better things. - Bill Reed - Colorado Springs Gazette

"The Haunted Windchimes - Verse/Visa (cd review)"

The Haunted Windchimes paint an evocative and compelling musical picture with familiar hues of folk, blues and Americana. The best tracks are the first few, particularly the opener, "Don't Be Afraid," a haunting, mournful dirge, and its polar opposite, "Leaving Here," a bouncy, up-tempo effort that skews toward pop territory. Later material, though less innovative and focused more on the traditional elements at its root, still manages to be palatable thanks to the inviting arrangements, especially the male/female vocal interplay. The album is a split with The Mexican, and the eight songs that act contributes, collectively known as Funeral Pop, draw on a similar range of influences but add in a manic, gothic quality strangely reminiscent of Frank Black if he got really into the blues and joined a haunted circus. - Cory Casciato - Denver Westword


Ballad of the Winds EP (2007), An Evening With: The Haunted Windchimes (2007), Verse/Visa EP (2008), Haunted Windchimes / The Mexican [split cd] (2008), Honey Moonshine (2010)



Booking & Management:
Scott O'Malley & Associates


The Haunted Windchimes sound is very traditional folk and blues and the songs have a vintage quality, as if they might have been written yesterday or 75 years ago. They are often compared to The Be Good Tanyas vocally and Old Crow Medicine Show musically. It’s the vocal harmonies that really set them apart, a three-headed juggernaut of Desirae Garcia (ukulele), Chela Lujan (banjo) and Inaiah Lujan (guitar). When their voices blend, it is nothing short of beautiful. The sound is often moody and melancholy, but it is always deeply affecting. That sound is embroidered by the instrumental mastery of Mike Clark (harmonica, guitar and mandolin) and the standup bass foundation of Sean Fanning.

- Bill Reed, The Colorado Springs Gazette


"With gorgeous harmonies, striking originals and an encyclopedic knowledge of music older than the three of them combined, Haunted Windchimes are Pueblo's finest export."

- Bill Forman, Colorado Springs Independent (Cover Story)

"The ghost of classic blues mingles with a pop sensibility that's given an edge by incredibly touching harmonies."

- Jon Pompeii, Pueblo Chieftain

"The Haunted Windchimes paint an evocative and compelling musical picture with familiar hues of folk, blues and Americana."

- Cory Casciato, Denver Westword

"The Haunted Windchimes might be Pueblo’s best export since steel, and they’re certainly one of the finest roots outfits on the Front Range. "

- Bill Reed, The Colorado Springs Gazette


Highlights include:

The Haunted Windchimes have put the wraps on their latest chronicle of the 21st-century American folk song. By the name of Honey Moonshine, this future treasured artifact was engineered by the great Butch Hause (best known for his work with the great cowboy crooner Don Edwards) at the equally great Western Jubilee, and will first become available at a gala release event March 20th at Stargazers Theater in Colorado Springs CO.

Colorado Springs Independent Cover Story (September 2008)

Opener for Devotchka in Armstrong Hall at Colorado College (October 2008)

Meadowgrass Festival at La Foret with Headliners: Magnolia Electric Co (May 2009)

Monolith Festival with Caitlin Rose at Red Rocks Amphitheater (September 2009)