Known mostly for his role as the rhythm guitarist for perhaps one of the greatest psychedelic rock bands of all time, Bob Weir has set out to redefine himself with another great solo album. His first in over 10 years, Blue Mountain is an album that everyone can enjoy. Though filled with many modern touches, Weir puts his inner West Texas Cowboy on display. Anticipation surrounds this album as it is set to be released on September 30th, luckily Weir’s VEVO account on Youtube gives fans a nice little taste of the album with three tracks from the new album. One can tell that this album comes from somewhere deep inside Weir as he brings forth a sound that he has only really dabbled with in the past, but is now showcasing for all his fans to see just how strong his abilities are in his voice as well as his guitar playing.
At 68, Weir has experienced many things in his time, but this album comes from a point before he was even a member of the Warlocks. At just the bright-eyed age of fifteen, Weir had run away from home to become a cowboy in Wisconsin. During his time doing grunt work on a ranch, he had the opportunity to live with some old cowpokes and ranch hands. Since these people were alive during a time where there was still no radio in Wisconsin, they took great comfort in telling stories and singing songs during the evening time which Weir accompanied with his guitar.
“…I was the accompaniment. I learned a bunch of those songs, and got steeped in that tradition.” said Weir in an interview on his youtube VEVO account.
It’s clear that the tradition he refers to in this interview was deep within him even in his days with The Dead with songs like Me and My Uncle, Jack Straw, and his performance of the Marty Robbins original “El Paso”. With “Blue Mountain” this influence and tradition takes center stage and is decorated beautifully with the help of Producer Josh Kaufman and the many notable people that made the musical style magic of this album even possible. Bringing in sounds from Joe Russo in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead as well as Furthur as well as brooklyn scene vets Ray Rizzo and Rob Burger, the album’s 21st century features are undeniable.
Releasing only three of the twelve total tracks on the album, fans can hear the many influences the are present on the album. The first single released, “Only A River”, streamed on NPR’s “All Thing Considered on August 18th, features a mellow melody and the use of steel guitars that heightens the country feel of the track. The second single titled “Gonesville” was released on September 8 via a stream on Rolling Stone’s website features a more folky feel provided by the and washes listeners over with a way more upbeat tone.
“Gonesville has a catchy chorus, so don’t be to see the song garner attention from radio,” said writers over at JamBase.com who also wrote a raving review of the album found here.
The most recently released track from the album, “Lay My Lily Down” released on the 12th of this month features more rocky and folky tones and is already getting a lot of feedback from fans. With 54 thumbs up and just one thumbs down, it looks like the majority of fans are already quite receptive to Weir’s newest sound experiment. It leaves one to wonder what else this album has in store
The album is set to be released on September 30th, but for fans who can’t handle the suspense “Only A River”, “Gonesville”, and “ Lay My Lily Down” are all available on Youtube via BobWeirVevo for your listening pleasure.
The released tracks and the CD can be purchased On iTunes as well as Amazon.