Scott Law may have been born in Southern California but his music pulls together traditions from every corner of the country. His latest album, Black Mountain (released October 29, 2013 on Volcano Underground), is all about his acoustic roots and the fiddle-driven string-band sounds of the Appalachian Southeast. On this beautifully captured recording, Law successfully draws upon a number of wide-ranging musical influences, from Austin’s alt-country to raw Bluegrass and even the improvisational spirit of bands like the Grateful Dead. These influences--and Law’s years of experience in groups like Hanuman, Brokedown in Bakersfield (with Nicki Bluhm), and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings—combine to create a unique sound that the musician-singer-songwriter, now based in Portland, defines as “Current Roots Americana.”
Black Mountain, which Law produced himself, harkens back to an earlier era: it was recorded live in the studio to two-inch tape, while Law and his band placed more emphasis on group performance and chemistry rather than slick perfection.
Law is joined by some of America's finest: Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still, Prairie Home Companion) lends her honeyed vocals to two songs: “Instead of Me” and the “Jerry Reed meets Flatt & Scruggs” duet “I’ll Stay Around.” San Francisco siren Nicki Bluhm trades lyrics with Law on “Leave the Leavin’ Up to You,” while progressive bluegrass quintet The Deadly Gentlemen are the musical engine that drives the intricate instrumentals “Five Pines” as well as seven of the album's eleven tracks. “Bells of Unity” is a Celtic-influenced instrumental that showcases Law’s flatpicking prowess, while “Getting Bluer All the Time,” a rip-roaring bluegrass tune, displays his skills as a songwriter in overdrive mode.
Coming off a barnstorming year in 2013 leading his own electric and acoustic groups, a month touring Europe with Nicki Bluhm and various special dates collaborating with Chris Funk of The Decembrists, Keith Moseley and Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident, Peter Rowan and banjo innovator, Tony Trischka; Law is scheduled to ring in 2014 at a special New Year’s Eve show in Portland with The David Grisman Folk Jazz Trio, Darol Anger and Tony Furtado. An album release show and subsequent tour are planned for early 2014. Scott Law may perform all over the world, but his music sounds like coming home.