Cincinnati Babyhead

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Quick Hit : Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band – The Mountain

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“You want to be in the band? You have to put on your hat”. Those are the opening words spoken by Steve Earle just before you are taken into bluegrass heaven. Earle and the Del McCoury Band explode into a celebration of this great music. They open with a train song just for good measure. A little story of a kid and his grandpa taking a trip on the ‘Texas Eagle’.

One song and I’m in. The next song continues the ride. If you aren’t partial to this style of music because of all the watered down commercial, whatever they call that new country, blank it out and listen to some great American music. Born from all the influences brought over from Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany and whatever else the people threw in. The harmony and musicianship are beyond top notch. Iris Dement and Earle  do a great duet. Graveyard Shift swings with a touch of blues and it even rocks. Not a bad cut on the record.

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This isn’t some over produced formula record. It’s for real. A celebration by people who get it and love it so we love it with them. This music is wonderful stuff with deep roots, played with passion and skill. This music has the good times/bad times but always the soul. CB has  been listening to bluegrass (and Earle) for a lot of years and when it’s played like this it never fails to grab me. Listen to ‘The Mountain’ and see if it doesn’t move you. The title song is a killer.

(Below is a link of Levon Helm singing the title song from his album ‘Dirt Farmer’. He was born to sing it. )

 

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24 comments on “Quick Hit : Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band – The Mountain

  1. Yeah, Another Blogger
    February 18, 2019

    Steve can almost do no wrong. Musically, that is. His latest album is a tribute to Guy Clark. Have you heard anything from it? I haven’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 18, 2019

      Hard guy to keep up with for sure. No I haven’t got around to the Guy tribute yet, but will. He also did one to another of his heroes, Townes Van Zant. You have a pretty wide range Neil. In all things. Keeps you young.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. J.
    February 18, 2019

    This is one of Earle’s albums that I haven’t heard. I’ll need to rectify that, cause it’s sounding good to me. Amazing artwork, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 18, 2019

      I’m a bit of a bluegrass freak. The sound just does me in. Steve, Del and the boys do some stellar work. I think it was Howe Gelb who called Bill Monroe something like the king of “Speed Metal”, Yes the art work is very cool. The same person has designed a few of his covers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        February 18, 2019

        I’m still a bit of a newbie when it comes to bluegrass. I know bits and pieces, but not nearly enough.

        Speaking of Gelb, I think you might appreciate my latest ramblings over at my place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 18, 2019

        Like jazz, bluegrass is a world of it’s own. So much good stuff there. Itvcan be a little intimidating but with your musical ear you will find your way.
        I will be over for a peek. I make a weekly visit. Howe? I’m in big time. Looking forward to that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        February 18, 2019

        I’ll be sure to check this album out… a very accessible kind of bluegrass, by the sounds of it.

        I’ll have some snacks and a refreshment waiting for you over at my place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 19, 2019

        I’ll be over this week

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    February 18, 2019

    I try to get into this shit-kickin’ stuff but as you like to say, I never got on that train. I’ll take old Levon anytime though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 18, 2019

      Bluegrass, I guess is a yay or nay with a lot of folk. Being the musician you are and an admirer of good players, the top bluegrass people are some of the best musicians in my book. I love the stuff Doc. Levon does a good version of the ‘Mountain’. Almost like RR wrote it.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        February 18, 2019

        I actually like bluegrass but more on the pure instrumental side. My buddy Steve is a bluegrass fanatic, even now taking banjo lessons. I told him he always did remind me of that kid in ‘Deliverance’ anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 18, 2019

        Bluegrass is such a big world and with rabid fans. I’m not rabid but i d dig a lot of it. You’ve mention Steve before. I kinda have the Deliverance look going right now. I was listening to Alison Krauss and Tom Jones a while ago. Her roots are in the bluegrass and the gal can play.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 18, 2019

        Come to think of it, that picture you display does have a bit of the backwoods look to it. Krauss, BTW, is the most-awarded female artist in Grammy history. Steve and his wife go to bluegrass festivals. Alas, he was the guy who used to say jazz/rock was the ultimate. Now he says that about bluegrass. I can dig it but I can’t go quite that far.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 19, 2019

        I’m not up on my Grammy’s but I do know she’s the real deal.
        I have an old album called Dawg/Jazz Dawg/Grass by David Grisman. He has hooked up with Tony Rice ( great guitar player) and Jerry Garcia, Stephen Grappelli to make some good albums.
        I think your buddy Steve knows what he’s talking about

        Like

  4. Jim S.
    February 19, 2019

    Yeah, I’m not buyin’ that. I’ll take jazz, blues and rock and even good pop first.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. catchgroove
    February 19, 2019
  6. christiansmusicmusings
    February 25, 2019

    I used to say I’m not particularly fond of country and bluegrass for that matter, but the more I listen to that type of music, the more I come to the conclusion that there’s lots of great music in these genres to be found! The craftsmanship aspect Jim noted is one attractive proposition to me. I just dig music played by talented musicians!

    Another important point to me are vocals, and some of the singing in bluegrass and country sounds great as well. In fact, just yesterday, I coincidentally came across the beautiful rendition of ‘After The Gold Rush’ by Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt – had to post that clip right away. It probably doesn’t get more country, but these three ladies singing together just knocked my socks off and even made me tear up. Singing doesn’t get much better!

    BTW, it looks like Earle’s new album ‘GUY’ is coming out March 29. Based on the first two tunes that are already out, I bet it’s going to be right up your alley!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 25, 2019

      Country/bluegrass are big pools ( like rock n roll/blues/jazz) so there is a lot of music to sift through. Mainstream anything doesn’t do it for me (occasionally I hear something I like). Like jazz you just have to dig to find what moves you. Emmy Lou has been making quality music for years and always plays with top notch musicians. Her singing solo or in harmony is beautiful. Alison Krauss and her various bands are second to none.
      I think people forget that people like The Band/ CCR, Springsteen/Allman Bros/Mellencamp/ all have that gene in their music.
      Earle just continues to pump out interesting, quality stuff. The ‘GUY’ recording will be good. Del McCoury and his piers and predecessors like Monroe/Flats& Scruggs are some of the best players on their instruments and great harmony singers.. Your ear will be your guide.

      Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        February 26, 2019

        Very well said, your ear will be your guide – I like that!

        I still sometimes run into the trap and think too much in genres. But at the end of the day, who cares what it’s called? If I like it, it works for me.

        A while ago, I started exploring Steve Earle. Then I got distracted with something else, so there’s definitely lots of Earle’s music left to listen to. Of course, when you have a guy like him who has a pretty sizable catalog, it’s challenging to wrap your arms around it.

        I’ll definitely keep that new album on my radar screen!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 26, 2019

        This comes out of my mouth frequently and sometimes I kind tired of it because it makes me sound like I’m a “know it all” (which I’m far from) but I’ve been listening to Earle since his debut and he is so proficient and explores lots of musical ideas. I’ll post a take and you tell me what genre it is. I’d say it is just one hot rock n roll song. Keep exploring Steve . Lots of surprises.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. christiansmusicmusings
    February 26, 2019

    Thanks, that tune surely rocks. I got some listening to do!😀

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2019 by in 1999 Album, Bluegrass, country, Del McCoury Band and tagged , , , .

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