On the heels of their successful reunion tour that commenced in the summer of 2007 and fifteen years after their first release, seminal Americana band BLUE MOUNTAIN is gearing up for two new releases on August 19, 2008.
Midnight in Mississippi is all new material, with the exception of the songs “Butterfly” and “By You Side,” which appeared on the first solo release by Cary Hudson, but have been re-recorded with Laurie Stiratt and Frank Couch. Midnight in Mississippi was recorded in Elmwood Recording in Dallas, TX, with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, White Stripes, Loretta Lynn). Omnibus is a collection of new recordings of 14 classic Blue Mountain songs, including “Blue Canoe,” “Soul Sister,” “Poppa, “Mountain Girl” and a rousing rendition of “Generic America,” that were re-recorded by Andrew Ratcliff at Tweed Recording in Oxford, MS. Both CDs will be released by Broadmoor Records, a label owned by Stiratt and her twin brother John, bass player for Wilco.
Blue Mountain was formed in 1993 in Oxford, MS, by former husband and wife Laurie Stirratt (bass, vocals) and Cary Hudson (guitar, vocals) with Matt Brennan on drums, later replaced by Frank Coutch, who has joined Stirratt and Hudson on the recent tours and in the studio for the recordings. Blue Mountain’s music is a unique blend of twang, rock, gospel, country and bluegrass; original songs written in a traditional spirit, but with the hard edge of rock ‘n’ roll. They quickly developed a reputation for emotionally charged, energetic, raw live performances as they toured the country relentlessly. Blue Mountain was on the forefront of an entire movement now considered “alt-country” or “Americana” that included bands such as Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks. In fact, the band graced the second cover for the magazine No Depression, the definitive journal for roots music, and was featured again in the last issue of the same magazine.
Blue Mountain released their self-titled debut in 1993 before going on to release three highly acclaimed albums on Roadrunner Records. Their last studio album, Roots, came out in 2001. In 2002, celebrating 10 years together, the band released Tonight It’s Now or Never, a double-CD recorded live at Schuba’s Tavern on March 11, 2001, in Chicago – an evening which turned out, as the title says, to be the night of now or never. Blue Mountain disbanded shortly after that night until their performance at Twangfest in June of 2007.
Their recent shows have found them in front of ecstatic crowds, receiving rave reviews, including a performance to a packed house at the Americana Music Convention in October of 2007 and several shows at this year’s South-By-Southwest, proving that not only is the band tighter than ever, but they are still a vital force in a world of music they helped create.
Cary Hudson was recently honored by Gibson Guitar, earning the # 5 spot in their list of “Top 10 Alt-Country Guitarists,” saying: “For bringing a rollicking, Southern-mountain energy to the guitar-driven music of Blue Mountain, Cary Hudson earns a place in the Top 10. For definitive moments, check out the rolling, infectious riffing on ‘Poppa’ from 1999’s Tales of a Traveler, or the fuzzed-out neo-Southern-rock of ‘Room 829’ from the same album. This is the kind of playing that offers a one-hit definition of alt-country guitar; the twang is there, for sure, but it dwells amid equal helpings of amped-up dirt and devil-may-care punk energy.”
The band will tour heavily this summer and fall behind the new releases. Confirmed dates thus far include:
6/13: Jackson, MS @ Jubilee Jam
6/27: Starkville, MS @ State Theater
6/28: Waverly, AL @ Standard Deluxe
7/5: Potts Camp, MS @ Hill Country Picnic
7/26: Philadelphia, MS @ Neshoba County Fair
8/1: Houston, TX @ Continental Club
8/2: Austin, TX @ Continental Club
8/3: Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Door
8/8: Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
8/15: Jackson, MS @ Hal & Mal’s
8/16: Ocean Springs, MS @ Government Street Grocery
8/22: Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
8/23: St. Louis, MO @ Lucas School House
9/4: Nashville, TN @ The Basement
9/5: Chattanooga, TN @ Nightfall Concert Series
9/12: Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea’s
9/13: Hattiesburg, MS @ The Thirsty Hippo
9/18: Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House
9/19: Asheville, NC @ Downtown After 5
9/19: Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
9/27: Rosedale, MS @ Otherfest
10/11: Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
10/18: Natchez, MS @ Great MS River Balloon Race
10/31: Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s