Calling You From My Mountain
Peter Rowan was working on a project during the pandemic that was supposed to be a tribute to Hank Williams and his alias, Luke the Drifter. He changed gears and the reimagined product is Calling You From My Mountain. It’s hard to imagine that the original idea could have topped this one.
Rowan wrote seven of the 13 tracks, which we’ll get to later. Woody Guthrie’s “New York Town” kicks the album off and he covers A.P. Carter’s “Little Joe,” Bill Monroe’s “Frog on the Lilly Pad,” and Tex Logan’s “Come Along Jody.” But the highlights of the album come on the originals.
The title track features Molly Tuttle and at the end, Lindsay Lou and is arguably the best on the album. “The Red, the White and the Blue” has the potential to be a big hit—it also features Tuttle on clawhammer banjo as well as Chris Henry and Shawn Camp on mandolin and guitar.
There are plenty of great guests on Calling You From My Mountain. Billy Strings plays his 1944 D-28 on “A Winning Hand.” Strings’ guitar was cut from the “same log” as Jerry Garcia’s 1943 Herringbone, according to the liner notes. Speaking of liner notes, Rowan went the extra mile on this sometimes-overlooked part of a CD. There is detail on each song that adds another layer to the authenticity of the work.
Other efforts that should get radio play are “The Song That Made Hank Williams Dance,” “Light at the End of the World” and “Dream of Heaven.” Rounding out Rowan’s band in addition to Henry are Max Wareham (banjo/vocals), Julian Pinelli (fiddle), Eric Thorn (bass). Joining Camp, Tuttle, Lou and Strings as guests is Mark Howard.
This is Rowan’s second effort for Rebel Records and it’s a promising effort. The music is as traditional as it gets and fans should be excited for this one.