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Blue Mountain: Tonight It's Now or Never--Live At Schubas

Blue Mountain

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Album Review

Serving as their last official release, their first live album, as well as something of a career retrospective, Tonight It's Now or Never is a fitting coda for one of alternative country's pioneering bands. With two discs and 21 tracks, the band delves into generous helpings of traditional folk tunes, cowpunk anthems, and bluesy, feedback-heavy rock with equal aplomb. Whether storming through the rollicking "Bloody 98" or dipping into the hypnotic English folk of "Young and Tender Ladies," Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt imbue songs of sadness and longing with the genuine spirit of the Appalachian folk and Delta blues from which they draw. Similarly, the Neil Young & Crazy Horse riff rock of "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" and the Celtic shades of "Rye Whiskey" show a band who was more than capable of moving past the commonplace strains of Americana, sounding as much like John Doe and Exene Cervenka on their harmonies as they do George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Sadly, the group would part ways shortly after the March 11, 2001, performance at Chicago's Schuba's, with both Hudson and Stirratt either releasing or readying solo albums within a year, making this an excellent document of one of the band's final moments.

Biography

Formed: 1993

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Blue Mountain is led by the husband and wife team of Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt; the roots rockers drew their name from a small town near their home base of Oxford, MS, where the bandmembers first began soaking up the country, blues, and rock influences that informed their distinctive sound. Blue Mountain was founded in 1993 by vocalist/guitarist Hudson and bassist Stirratt after their previous band, the Los Angeles-based, punk-inspired Hilltops (which...
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Blue Mountain: Tonight It's Now or Never--Live At Schubas, Blue Mountain
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