Red Mountain Blues is an apt name for the upcoming release from Chris Murphy. He combines bluegrass, folk and bluegrass into a delightful package of lively music that feels organic and from the roots of the earth.
The strings are king on this album which come in the form of banjos, guitars, fiddle, bass and maybe more. There are also some exceptional vocal harmonies as well and I was having a hard time deciding what I enjoyed more.
He opens with the title track which is not hard to enjoy. It’s such a rich tune that feels alive with optimism. You have to be a true cynic to not get down with this one. “Dirt Time” contains some mighty catchy vocals while “High Country” is another instrumental piece that is delivered with exceptional instrumental performance.
I was a fan of “Cast Iron” which felt like traditional bluegrass. The song hops along as each instrument takes its turn to shine. Murphy can also bring up feelings of nostalgia and melancholy. Take for example “Walt Whitman” or “Johnson County” which says more than a lot of songs with lyrics ever could.
I knew in advance I would enjoy a song called “Buckwheat Pancakes” and wasn’t disappointed. Delicious.
Red Mountain Blues is one of those albums that you can just hit play and sit back and enjoy. The songs are consistently well written and the flow is also quite seamless. It also doesn't hurt one bit that the production is pristine. You can hear every nuance of the instruments. And it sounds as if it's being played in a room with great acoustics. Suffice it to say to make sure to mark your calendars and listen to the full album.
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