If you had to pick only one album to sum up the very best of alt-country's best decade — that's the '90s — you'd probably pick the Jayhawks' Hollywood Town Hall or the Bottle Rockets' 24 Hours a Day or maybe Son Volt's Trace. But you'd be remiss to overlook Blue Mountain's best album, Dog Days. Cary Hudson, Laurie Stirratt (sister of Wilco bassist John) and Frank Coutch drew a straight line between three kinds of rock (Southern, alternative and folk) and then torched the whole rural-rock map. Blue Mountain's songs celebrated blue canoes, classic rock radio, a dope-smoking band called Bud and folk heroes Elvis and Jimmy Carter, but its Southern vision wasn't a myth or cliché — it was fresh, irreducible soul. Three albums after Dog Days, the trio called it quits; its appearance at Twangfest will be the group's first show in six years and is not to be missed.
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