A local band that opened for none other than the Rolling Stones is set to premiere Maple House Music + Arts Festival on May 21 at Hartwood Acres Park, located in the townships of Hampton and Indiana.
Based in Pittsburgh ghost dogs played as a special guest of the oldest rock band in history.
“It’s as cool as it gets to open for the Stones,” said Ghost Hounds guitarist Johnny Baab, from Brooklyn, NY. “It was a lot of fun, for sure. The Stones fans were nice to us. We had 45 minutes to impress them.
The Ghost Hounds performed eight shows with the Rolling Stones, including the No Filter Tour on October 4 at Heinz Field to a crowd of 50,000, after the original 2020 date had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
“There’s nothing quite like interacting with the crowd at a live event,” said keyboardist Joe Munroe of Monaco. “There are many virtual platforms to play on, but to be part of parties like when the Stones hit the stage, no online show can compare to that.”
That’s why the Ghost Hounds wanted to be part of the Maple House Music + Arts Festival.
There will be two stages, the Maple House stage and the Gibson stage. The Ghost Hounds will perform at 7:45 p.m. on the first. Other artists include the Vices, Adia Victoria, Welsh Arm, Ripe, She Kingand Jason Isbell and the 400 Unity. On the Gibson stage will be Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Eric Gusts of wind, joseph, Noah Kahan, Diving in the street of the lake and Black cougars.
Music starts at 11:15 a.m.
Tickets are $59 for adults and $29 for children ages 3-10. VIP passes are available. The festival will feature art, activities and food.
Proceeds from the one-day event will benefit Allegheny County Parks.
The event will mark Baab’s first time performing at Hartwood Acres.
“I can’t wait,” he said. I plan to spend the whole day there.
The members of the Ghost Hounds describe themselves as a “rockin’ blues band”.
They have a new album, “You Broke Me”, with nine songs, including “Baby We’re Through” and “Smokestack Lightning”.
Baab and Munroe said the band had a cohesiveness that extended offstage.
“We hang out with each other,” Baab said. “We are like a family.”
Leading the lyric writing is billionaire businessman, entrepreneur, film producer – and guitarist – Thomas Tull, who founded the Ghost Hounds with Baab.
Tre’ Nation is the lead singer. Bennett Miller is on bass and Blaise Lanzetta on drums.
Munroe said he loved the music performed by the Ghost Hounds because it reminded him of tunes from his youth.
“It’s important to have your own identity as a band,” he said. “We like to play our own music.”
The name Ghost Hounds was inspired by 1930s legend Robert Johnson, who allegedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his ability to play guitar and sing, and he composed the oft-covered “Hellhound On My Trail with what eventually became the blues-rock standard “Crossroads”.
The Ghost Hounds released their feature debut, “Roses Are Black,” in 2019. Their single “Bad News” appeared in the film adaptation of “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
Acclaimed by Billboard, American songwriter and many others, the band honed their signature style on their second full-length album, “A Little Calamity” on Maple House Records, led by the singles “Between Me and The Devil” and “Good Old Days,” which they played during the Stones opener.
The Rolling Stones aren’t the only known musicians to have teamed up with the Ghost Hounds. The group was an opening act for fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Bob Seger and ZZ Top.