Fascination with North American moonshiners history and a love of Southern power chord guitar rock are blended in the Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion new self-titled debut album coming out on vinyl Friday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley guitarist mixes years of music experience with the flavour of whiskey

After decades in the music industry, Langley’s Mitch Merrett debuts a new sound, new band, new album

After 20 years in the music industry, Langley’s Mitch Merrett was looking to take on a unique project – something new, different, and “out there.”

The result is much more than he ever expected or hoped for.

It’s Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion – and that’s more than just the title on a new album being released today (Friday, March 1). It’s the name of a new band that’s garnering international attention by bringing to life a different southern rock sound.

Their self-titled album, which is only being released in vinyl, features songs about moonshining, prohibition, and “some other fun stuff,” peppered with just the right mix of fictional and historical tales and a few political undertones, shared Merrett.

Until recently, the 46-year-old award-winning guitarist and producer focused much of his energies almost exclusively on country music. But he said this idea started taking shape four years ago.

As a fan of the TV’s Hell on Wheels, Deadwood, and Lawless, Merrett admitted he was especially drawn to the “unique” music behind the shows.

He started collecting riffs and song ideas. Then, in his spare time, he began reaching out to others friends in the industry, explaining his concept, and gauging interest.

Originally, his vision was to co-write and co-produce some songs with a series of different singers and musicians – and put together an album.

By the time all his industry buddies came together to lay down all the tracks for the album, however, everyone had bought in – or drank Merrett’s proverbial whiskey-flavoured Kool Aid.

And, as the project came to life, it became evident it was going to be more than just a one-shot wonder. It made a major leap into a new dimension when the guys proposed formalizing as a band.

The BMWR band is made up of Merrett on guitar, accompanied by vocalist Erik Dylan, drummer Crobertt Frasz, Mike Little on keys (including accordion), and Greg Carroll on bass – with guest appearances by Clayton Bellamy.

“It’s like we’re 16 again, and in our first band,” said Merrett, the primary songwriter on the album who is enthralled by the reaction their getting to the music.

It’s a “musical awakening that walks the line of boundless melodic prowess and raw unapologetic grassroots truth.”

It’s not a sound he believes will play well on radio, but their southern, country, rock, American roots music mix will – and is already – resonating with many.

Today Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion is not only releasing its debut album, but it has released two singles on streaming services and getting attention.

They’ve already toured in eastern Canada – opening for Cadillac Three – last fall, and they’re set to perform at a number of fairs and music festivals in western Canada this coming summer. Plus, Merrett’s hoping to market some of their unique sounds to the TV and movie industry.

“It’s not like the phone is ringing off the hook,” Merrett said. “But, it is ringing.”

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