The Mountain Goats, Matt Douglas and John Darnielle, perform at the Hamlet Depot & Museum | Photo by Sandra Davidson

The Mountain Goats Debut New Song In Latest “In The Water” Live Session

The roots of American music run deep in North Carolina, and the diversity of our music mirrors the diversity of our musicians’ creative homes. In the Water is a special limited video series for the 2019 North Carolina Year of Music that highlights the symbolic and literal places that shape the sounds and souls of North Carolina musicians. Each episode of In The Water features a North Carolina musician performing a unique location across the state.

In this episode, the Mountain Goats, a Durham, N.C. based indie folk group, performs at the Hamlet Depot & Museum in southeastern North Carolina. John Darnielle , the frontman of the band, wanted to perform in the town where jazz titan John Coltrane was born: Hamlet, N.C. Built in 1897, the Hamlet Depot is the only Victorian Queen Anne style train station in the state, and it was once a bustling transportation hub and major north-south and east-west crossroads for passenger and freight trains. This performance was recorded in the summer of 2019.

For the latest session, the band premieres a new song, “Let Me Bathe in Demonic Light,” at the historic train depot in Hamlet, N.C. - the hometown of John Coltrane. Songwriter and guitarist John Darnielle also discusses what North Carolina means to him as a musician and why he picked Coltrane’s hometown to debut a new song.

Special thanks to The Hamlet Depot & Museum for their support of the project. Watch the full performance below.

the Mountain Goats perform: "In League with Dragons," "Possum by Night," "Let Me Bathe in Demonic Light," and "Rain in Soho" at the Hamlet Depot & Museum in John Coltrane's Birthplace.

Previous In The Water sessions included Mary Lattimore performing from the Chapel of Rest in Historic Happy Valley, near Lenoir, N.C. (located between her hometowns of Asheville and Shelby), while discussing the impact of North Carolina on her music. Greensboro native Vanessa Ferguson then performed at the childhood home of Nina Simone in Tryon, N.C. as part of an effort to save and preserve the historic birthplace of the high priestess of soul. Upcoming episodes of In The Water will include a session with Brooke Simpson, a Hollister, N.C. native, member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe and 2017 finalist on The Voice. 

Each episode of In The Water features a three-to-four-song performance, as well as environmental footage and narration from the artist, to paint a picture of the spaces – both literal and metaphorical – that shape the sounds and souls of each musician.

In The Water is the latest addition to this year’s Come Hear North Carolina festivities, a celebration of the state’s rich musical history from the North Carolina Arts Council and North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Recent events included “Nina Simone Weekend” at North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and “Music at the Mansion,” an unprecedented concert series filmed at the North Carolina Executive Mansion.

John Darnielle, Jamie Staton, Matt Douglas stand outside the Hamlet Depot & Museum
John Darnielle, Jamie Staton, Matt Douglas stand outside the Hamlet Depot & Museum


Come Hear NC team member Samuel Gerweck prepares to interview the Mountain Goats
Come Hear NC team member Samuel Gerweck prepares to interview the Mountain Goats


John Coltrane historic landmark in Hamlet North Carolina
A plaque adorns the birthplace of John Coltrane in Hamlet, N.C.


John Coltrane birthplace
The birthplace of John Coltrane in Hamlet, N.C.


Band members, one sitting down and the other two standing behind.
The band checked out the old train cars on site at the Hamlet Depot & Museum



  • Videographers: Laura Casteel, Tom Normanly, Matt Zeher
  • Lead Editor: Matt Zeher
  • Script Editor: Sandra Davidson
  • Producer: Sandra Davidson, Samuel Gerweck

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