Black Music Matters Festival

Mount Pilot

Help Wanted, Love Needed, Caretaker – 1997 (Doolittle)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

CDs by Mount Pilot

Don't be misled by the band's name. Mount Pilot is not strictly a country band, but there is plenty here Opie could get into. Much of Mount Pilot's debut leans to other influences such as alternative rock, blues and jazz. Country fans will best appreciate the pair of instrumentals ("Country Swing" and "Arkansas Ambush"), demonstrating the band's tight musicianship. Guitarist Jon Williams' Doc Watson influence blends well with the jazz-influenced playing of bassist Chris Grady and drummer Kevin O'Connell.

Vocalist/songwriter Matt Weber effectively writes both serious and humorous songs. "Gypsy Queen" and "Taken All I've Got" show the sarcastic side, while "Walk Alone" and "Three Years in October" reveal the darker side. Though other influences dominate much of their sound, Chicago's Mount Pilot could find an audience with fans of alternative country.