Good Luck Mountain is the new project from Tandy frontman Mike Ferrio. The self titled release is essentially a project to commemorate Tandy member Drew Glackin, who passed away suddenly in 2008. As a musical mix it covers a vast spread of genres from complex rock to soul and minimal ambiance; a mix as vast and varied as the musical talents it employs: from Konrad Meissner (The Silos, Matt Nathanson) to Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith, Ani DiFranco), Pavement’s Sibel Firat and The Damnwell’s, and finally violinist Eleanor Whitmore and Lucy Hollier on viola, who provide Good Luck Mountain with its very heart via solemn country refrains.
Of the record Ferrio stated:
“It’s a beautiful, odd-duck of a record that we made. The music is surprising even to me. Things pop out. I think the words point to the fact that we begin to see how precious our lives and relationships are when we give death its due.”
This much is true when left to reflect on the spirituality at the album’s centre: recurring notions of loss, remembrance, questionings of “what next?” and imaginings of meeting his maker, Ferrio – vocals somewhere between a Springsteen and a Petty – eulogizes in a way that is both universal and yet wholly personal given the story at the core.
Given the nod by the likes of Steve Earle and Jim White this is a contemporary and fresh approach to the alt-country genre, with its outlook given a timeless quality and production: understated guitar, harmonica and string arrangements lighting much of the way for the dark topic at its root; finally allowing it to branch out into something pure and positive. Certainly a record that while immediate on numbers such as ‘The Seven Sisters’, exudes small wisdom and stirring instrumentation in many of its more portentous numbers. Well worth a listen.