Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain, Asheville, North Carolina
Arrived at my parents house this afternoon, for the Sunday night family dinner ritual, and there had been a drop-off of paint swatches. They've been tasked with picking some colors for the walls of a house they're building and there are hundreds of variations to choose from. Many of them have ridiculous names that don't give you even the trace of an idea about what the color actually is. One is called "Kid's Stuff." It's kind of a blood orange color and that was surprising. Seemed to me that it should have been browner or bluer, one way or the other. There is this one color called "Picnic" that seemed about right. It might be a bit of a simplification or an assumption, but it's essentially a forest green color. It feels good to call that green what the good people at Sherwin Williams decided to call it.
This picnic color is something close to the color that North Carolina's Mount Moriah makes us see in our heads, when we're listening to its music. It feels like someone's brought a fresh pie - a very fresh, still piping pie. Someone's laid out the blanket on a thick patch of grass, beneath a tree that's shedding little bits of itself into the potato salad every once in a while, but it's par for the course and we just pick the little blooms out and keep on dishing it up.
The days that singer Heather McEntire and bandmates Jenks Miller and Casey Toll bring to light are the ones that are looking up, no matter what happened last night. The hangover could just been letting loose its grip on you, but with these sunnier of skies, it would be hard to not feel like things were okay. Of course, McEntire (who sometimes sounds the way you'd expect Dolly Parton to sound if she were fronting an indie rock band) doesn't always keep us in that cheerful space, but sometimes picnics don't wind up the way you'd like them to either. Sometimes we can't start the grill as easily as we want. Sometimes there are too many mosquitoes and sometimes the weathermen are right and the storms really do arrive when they're supposed to, but for the most part, these songs still give you the sense that you're messing around with nature, with a cold stream of holy water and lemonade.
Mount Moriah Official Site