I caught John L. Sullivan’s “Ghost Town” on WXRT’s Local Anesthetic on Sunday night, but I was understandably fooled into believing I was listening to the station’s other solid Sunday night program, Little Steven’s Underground Garage. One listen and you can see why.
“Ghost Town” is the exact brand of power-pop meets garage that Steven Van Zandt would wet himself over. And I don’t want this to come off as an insult (because it’s not) but Sullivan sounds like an imitation of Little Steven’s buddy, Willie Nile imitating Tom Petty imitating an extra nasally Bob Dylan. But as someone wrote on Sullivan’s facebook page, “Dylan, Petty and Willie Nile are good company for comparison.”
I love this song even though I swore long ago to hate any song that referenced its own genre. Thankfully, “Ghost Town” does not enter Bob Seeger-dom with his music used to be so much better theme. It works though, and by the time the refrain hits, I could care less what the song’s about anyway. It’s a catchy tune.