Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Blue Mountain Reunited and Reborn on New Album
2008 has seen some of the founding insurgents that have been credited for the Alt-Country movement have released albums this year. Names like the Old 97’s, Alejandro Escovedo, Gary Louris, Jason Ringenberg among others have proven that, in spite of rumors to the contrary, alt-country (or whatever you want to call it) is alive and well. You can now add a reunited Blue Mountain to that list. They have actually released two albums this year. Omnibus contains remakes of classic material. Midnight in Mississippi is an album of new work and the focus of this review. Folks Blue Mountain is back with a vengeance. The gang from Oxford, Mississippi has released an album that has a Southern Gothic masterpiece. Steeped in Southern Rock, Country and Hill Country Blues, the album like great Southern literature is at once dark and beautiful, a dichotomy which makes the album so compelling.
There are songs on the album that are mid-tempo Southern Rock. These songs, like “Groove Me,” “By Your Side” and “Gentle Soul,” provide an undercurrent from which other songs can spin off. “She’s a Wild One” is a story song set in Mexico. The title cut is a dirty blues influenced cut about a night that begins in Junior Kimbrough’s club and ends in violence in a cheap hotel. (Have you ever noticed how many country and blues songs involve cheap hotels?) The most fun song is the blues romp “Skinny Dipping” that closes the album. Blue Mountain was missed while they were gone and Midnight in Mississippi is a welcome return.
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This review also appears on Twangville