Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Black Mountain Prophet – Tales From The South (CD)
A smoky joint, people sipping beers and bobbing their heads to the groove coming from band in the corner. That’s the picture I see when I hear opening track “Feel Good Mama”. I really liked the band’s debut album, but on this one they’ve really dug down deep to find the true southern roots. Jarrod England handles lead vocals, rhythm/lead/slide guitars and harmonica, Bob Watkins plays rhythm/lead guitar, Brian Witty handles the bass and Chris Hardesty sits behind the drums. I’ve always had a weak spot for Jarrod’s raspy bluesy voice ever since I heard the outstanding Rufus Huff album. The production is very earthy, analogue and organic with lot of room in the drum sound, which I love. Tales From The South may not be as heavy as the band’s debut, but this one has a different feel with other qualities appealing to other sides of my musical taste buds. “Whiskey Don’t Make Me Cry” is very cool and laid back, with a touch of vintage Allman Brothers meets Skynyrd and a touch of Americana. It’s a very naked album, sounding like you’re actually IN the room together with the band. Even though I know Jarrod can’t sing, play rhythm guitar, slide and harmonica at the same time, it sure does sound like he does. Well, I do stand corrected - the album was recorded 95 % live in the studio, I'm informed, one track even totally live. Reacording live in the studio is a dying artform, which should be encouraged! Well done, boys! “Milk Skin Woman” actually gave me a touch of another band I really love, Swamp Cabbage. “Bad Women” brings in a bit of the funk vibe also found on the Rufus Huff album. Jarrod sings this so damn good! There’s so much feel in his voice, it feels like he’s literally singing his heart out. All in all, different from what I expected, but really good different! Love it!