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Blue Mountain

Home Grown – 1997 (Roadrunner)

Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

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CDs by Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain's second album should make a lot of folks' "Ten Best" lists for 1997. For fans of this band's sound, it's more of the same, but better.

Hailing from Oxford, Miss., Blue Mountain's music combines styles befitting its geographic juxtaposition where country, blues and rock'n'roll traditions meet. Only a three-piece outfit, they have a very full, mature sound. Much credit must go to singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Cary Hudson. He's accompanied by Laurie Stirratt on bass and Frank Coutch on drums; both contribute on vocals. Husband and wife Hudson and Stirratt harmonize well together. Also writing one song, "Myrna Lee," and doing guitar duty on the track is Laurie's brother John Stirratt, taking a break from his Wilco duties. "Myrna Lee" is a gem, a folky number with an uptempo shuffle beat.

Blue Mountain's rockin' roots are exposed in "Bloody 98" and "Black Dog" (not THAT "Black Dog"), as well as "Generic America," the standout track of the album. With lines like "Shopping malls, prison walls, they all look the same to me...," it's a biting commentary which could be an anthem for numerous disenchanted Americans. But what gives Blue Mountain their unique musical signature are their more acoustically oriented, "high lonesome" sounding ballads, including "Town Clown," "Ira Magee" and "Pretty Please."