Sounds Like: A fleet of rumbling IROC-Zs at Talladega revved-up on leaded gasoline and ready to chase the checkered flag
For Fans of: Blackberry Smoke, Whiskey Myers, latter-day Lynyrd Skynyrd
Why You Should Pay Attention: Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion may seem to have come from nowhere, but this band of Canadians are pros on the touring and session circuits. Lead guitarist and visionary Mitch Merrett has racked up awards from the Canadian Country Music Association for his work with artists Aaron Pritchett and Chad Brownlee, while bassist Greg Carroll toured with Amos Garrett. Since dropping their debut single “Holy Smoke” on April 20th, Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion have racked up more than 100k streams on Spotify, thanks to exposure on its popular Country Rocks playlist. The band plans to keep its streaming profile stocked with new music, with a debut album to follow on vinyl in late 2018. “Things ain’t always what they seem to be,” sings Clayton Bellamy on “Holy Smoke.” The song centers on snake-oil tent evangelists whose real calling isn’t the Bible but the buddha, as Cypress Hill would say. Co-songwriter Merrett’s interest in exploring tales of moonshine-runners and “how the history of North America came to be, [or] more of the underbelly of it,” inspired him.
They Say: “I thought it would make for great songs,” says Merrett of those illegal moonlit operations. “I started researching all this and made pages of notes and blew up my phone with guitar hooks and melodies. We started with a song called ‘Appalachian Entrepreneurs’ and it grew from there. The story we painted [on ‘Holy Smoke’] was this preacher father-and-son team that traveled town to town, preaching the Lord’s good work. But really they were there to sell weed to the ‘righteous and the true,’ as the song goes.”