I just found a concert and a band to build a summer music tour around (see my blog in May), and it's in my neighborhood.
Blue Mountain is headlining the 4th annual AmericanaFest at Skipper's Smokehouse July 11 in Tampa. Sweet. I thought they were gone for good until they suddenly reappeared on tour in late 2007 after a hiatus of several years. This is rootsy, plugged-into-your-soul, jar swillin' music from a band that could've been the poster boys for alt-country -- if anybody had heard of them at the time.
I'm sure their name -- and fame -- has spread well beyond the boundaries of their Oxford, Miss., home base since the last time I saw them, on a snowy night at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis. It seems like 10 years ago, and it might have been. The small gathering of fans packed around the stage that night saw the raw-boned fusion of Skynrd-Neil Young-Dylan-Allman Brothers. Hell, let's throw in R.L. Burnside and Django Reinhardt while we're at it.
Former Uncle Tupelo mates and now-rivals Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy get most of the attention for pioneering the alt-country sound, but Blue Mountain's Cary Hudson is on par with both of them as a songwriter, guitarist, harp player and bandleader. Check him out at
Blue Mountain is the only out-of-state band appearing at WMNF's AmericanaFest, which promotes the best in Florida roots-rock music. Bradenton's Have Gun Will Travel will be among the 10 homegrown acts on the bill.
(If you're especially mobile, spontaneous and just can't wait, catch Blue Mountain this week at the Wakarusa Fest in Ozark, Ark. And let me know how it goes.)