I’ll admit it. Bluesy rock is my first musical love. I live it. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. Having become friends with a lot of musicians over the years, I know I’m not alone. Take a band like ZZ Top for instance. The band is still going strong after 40+ years. Their music is timeless for a reason. It’s deeply rooted in those blues I mentioned. The blues are all about emotions. People relate. It’s that simple. Having said all of that, I have found a band that is continuing to make music that shines a light on those classic sounds. Let me introduce you to Black Mountain Prophet. Featuring members of Rufus Huff and the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, Black Mountain Prophet has created a debut album that sounds like a band that just arrived in a time machine from 1970. Notorious Sinner is the title and I’m here to share my thoughts on a few of the highlights.
As soon as the album begins, you know what you are in store for. Speed Freak sounds like something that Deep Purple would love to have written. Vocalist Jarrod England lets loose a wail that would make Glenn Hughes himself, stand up and slap his Momma. From that moment on, you know it’s on.
After the blistering start, the band settles into what is more of their own sound and delivers grooving blues romp Smack Me Down. You just can’t help but hear Billy Gibbons in the vocal delivery and that sho ain’t a bad thang. Have mercy!
I’m Ready is a track that I really enjoy. The original is a Willie Dixon classic. This version though has the groove of Bon Scott era AC/DC, with the vocal delivery of Paul Rodgers from the Free era. The description sounds odd, but once you hear it, it’ll make perfect sense.
By now, it’s obvious these guys are not afraid to where their influences in their sleeves. Which brings us to biggest sing-a-long on the album, Too Much Of A Good Thing. I’ll put this simply, if you don’t like this song, move to Russia. ‘Cause you’re un-American!
Black Mountain Prophet – Too Much Of A Good Thing:
Poor Ole Broken Heart is the funky bluesy track I’ve been waiting on. The album as a whole sounds like it was recorded for vinyl, but this track specifically would be monstrous on an old turntable. Which is music to my ears.
Somethin’ In The Water is a slow churning song that focuses quite a bit on the story. As I mentioned before, the AC/DC and Free sound is where this band sounds most comfortable and this song is another fine example.
Listen, there are several tracks on this record that are fantastic. BUT, there are a couple that just don’t seem to be quite as strong. There are moments in every song that show flashes of brilliance, but some just ultimately seem to fall short of their intended effect. Overall, Black Mountain Prophet has delivered a solid debut album that will have blues lovers, as well as guitar lovers rejoicing. If you’re a fan of classic rock, this one’s definitely for you!
Unsung Melody Score – 7 out of 10
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Preview or purchase Notorious Sinner below: