Getting Into Knives
The Mountain Goats are an Indie Folk Rock band and the brain-child of singer-songwriter John Darnielle. Currently the band is based out of Durham, North Carolina. The band’s name is derived from the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins song “Yellow Coat”. Despite their plural moniker, their earliest home recordings featured Darnielle solo and date back to 1991. Their first full-length studio album “Zopilote Machine” on Ajax Records was released in 1994. This is the bands nineteenth studio recording.
The band has performed music featured on the Showtime series “Weeds”. I happened to stumble across their recent live performance on the Stephen Colbert Show. The current band lineup includes Darnelle, guitar, keyboards and vocals; Peter Hughes, bass and backing vocals; Jon Wurster, drums; and Matt Douglas, flute, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, keys, and backing vocals.
The album was recorded during March of 2020 at Sam Philips Recording in Memphis. Produced by Matt Ross-Spang (who also produced two albums for Margo Price); he has enlisted additional musicians Charles Hodges, Hammond B-3; Bram Gielen, keyboards and guitar; Chris Boerner, guitars; Sam Shoup, Mellotron; Tom Clary, horns; and background vocalists Reba Russell and Susan Marshall. The singles released so far include “As Many Candles AS Possible” featuring organist Hodges; The fabulous “Get Famous” with an accompanying video featuring the band as bobbleheads and the lyric “be careful not to choke on your tongue”; and the third “Picture of My Dress” released with the full album this past October. The album received five stars from American Songwriter magazine and reached #27 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums Chart. Other highlights include the infectious lead track “Corsican Mastiff Stride” with the lyric “with our grateful companion by our side, put it on the table and let it ride”; the funky “Harbor Me”, and the title track.
I find it difficult to find any music I like on late night television since the Carson Daly show has been cancelled. The Mountain Goats are the exception.