If, circa 1994, you were wearing flannel shirts and discussing the meaning of "alternative" ad infinitum, chances are you were drinking at least some of your beer to Blue Mountain. Uncle Tupelo may have been the poster child of the then-nascent alt-country movement, but this Oxford, Mississippi, trio of songwriter/guitarist Cary Hudson, bassist Laurie Stirratt — twin sister of Wilco's John Stirratt and Hudson's then-partner offstage as well — and drummer Frank Coutch was right there at its birth, and for a while was equally revered. Blue Mountain's second LP, 1995's Dog Days, was one of the more important documents from the budding genre's early days. With Hudson's electric guitar leading the way, the power trio ranges from deep R.L. Burnside/North Mississippi blues to rootsy Appalachian music. They eventually collapsed, as Hudson and Stirratt separated in private life and Hudson began a respected solo career. But like all things musical these days, there's always a franchise where there's a loyal fanbase, and Blue Mountain flies again. Good time to see if you still fit into that old flannel shirt.
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