Mount Moriah, Judson Claiborne | Whistler | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Mount Moriah, Judson Claiborne Member Picks Free Agenda Soundboard

When: Mon., July 11, 10 p.m. 2011

It's gratifying to hear artists playing to their strengths. Heather McEntire's previous band, Bellafea, was fine, maybe even great at times, but her new group, Mount Moriah, is a minor revelation. Maybe it's getting older that's drawn her toward down-home, countrified, night-time music (you can only punk till you puke for so long), or maybe she's just figured out what best suits her voice. More than suits—illuminates. On the Chapel Hill duo's self-titled debut (on Holidays for Quince Records), McEntire uses her voice how it was clearly meant to be used. So lonesome and sweet, it gets stronger and twangier at the top of her register—the comparisons to vintage Dolly Parton are justified. Mount Moriah aren't full-tilt country, though, as they flirt with something darker, even morose. The duo's other half, guitarist Jenks Miller, is handy and knows how to draw McEntire's voice toward un­expected melodies. Tonight's gig is a night off from their tour with the Indigo Girls, on which they're playing a number of zoos. —Jessica Hopper

Price: Free

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