When the Detroit-based Deadstring Brothers released their critically acclaimed U.S. debut, Starving Winter Report, in the winter of 2006, they took to the road, touring with sidemen on steel guitar while seeking a permanent collaborator with a shared vision. They found what they were looking for in London, where the Heavy Load club scene was packing in rock n’ roll fans who danced all night to bands like The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers. A bona-fide scene had developed that continues to grow today, where young players seeking kindred souls to play blues and country-tinged rock come together. On meeting Spencer Cullum, a young pedal steel/guitar player with the love of warm, analog rock n’ roll, their mission was accomplished. Rounding out the line up were Spencer’s brother Jeff on bass and fellow Brit Patrick Kenneally on piano and organ. Their shared musical language is easily explained by a look back to the late 60’s, when young players from both sides of the Atlantic took cues from Delta blues players like Blind Willie Johnson and Son House. The London scene that brought the current line-up of the band together is immortalized in Silver Mountain’s “Meet Me Down at Heavy Load”, a scorching number with equal measures of rock swagger and soulful vocals.
Recorded in the Deadstring Brothers’ own recording studio, Silver Mountain boasts the tunesmanship of The Faces and the barroom howl of The Band stewed together in homage to the blues of the American South and dancehalls of the urban factory North. Music like this formed the genesis of album-oriented FM rock - this record showcases high energy bluesy rave-ups and hymnal country ballads. Silver Mountain is a coming out party for sultry singer Masha Marjieh. Gritty and seductive, reminiscent of sixties-era Tina Turner, Masha steps into the spotlight on 8 of the 11 tracks, showcasing her hot-blooded and lustful voice, leaving no doubt that the biggest heart in the room now belongs to this soulful vocalist. Harmonica player Mickey Raphael also took a break from his place alongside the great Willie Nelson, contributing to “The Light Shines Within” and “Slow Down”.
Raw and feverish, Silver Mountain is the sound of a band working at its peak, synthesizing common influences (regardless of one’s birthplace) with a modern edge. Cut from jaws of Michigan steel, East London pubs and honed from months on the never-ending road, the Deadstring Brothers testify to the soul-saving grace of rock n’ roll.