By Paul Rodgers
Calgary band The Bitterweed Draw makes country music that even the type of people who adamantly state, “I like all kinds of music, except country,” can get down with. Their second full-length Dynamite Mountain is rife with twangy melodies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics belted out beautifully and a musical cohesion forged over the countless shows this band has performed together.
The album commences with a beautifully forlorn ballad called “Moonshining,” which sets the lyrical tone for the rest of the record, before picking up the pace and getting things moving with the next track “Bang Pow.”
The band’s command of their particular style that muddies the lines between country, bluegrass and honkey-tonk and even rockabilly is showcased throughout the album. Utilizing the varied individual vocal and instrumental strengths of the band, Dynamite Mountain is a mixed bag that will appeal to a massive range of listeners. Like the albums that came before it with 2012’s Heart Of The Old West and 2010’s debut EP The Burnt Cabin Sessions, it’s an unexpected joy and ode to the nitty-gritty bits of life. Drinking, drugs and heartbreak are featured aplenty; Hank Williams III would most certainly respectfully tip his hat.
Songs like “Dang Gurrl?!” or “Moonshiner Blues,” for example, maintain the vibrant, classic country flavour, with a twist of modern lyrical content.
Good till the last drop… of whiskey, rung out from the sleeve of a well-worn flannel, Dynamite Mountain is certainly one of the strongest releases from a Calgary band this year.Dynamite Mountain, The Bitterweed Draw