Mount Moriah | 06.17.13

mount moriah-0599_75By the time they were just a couple of songs into their set, I was a whole new person.

Old Rock House, St. Louis

“Music soothes the savage beast.” Or something like that. I was in a beastly mood heading to the Mount Moriah show at Old Rock House. Honestly, I was so monumentally distracted by my own sourness that through the first few songs, I couldn’t even tell if I liked the opening act, Jesse Sykes or not. However, their self-described “dark and dirge-y” songs began calming me down and by the time Mount Moriah took the stage, I was a little less rage-y.

Sometimes music pulls whatever you are feeling out of you. When I was little, my mom used to have this gunk in the medicine cabinet called Smile’s Prid, (made right here in St. Louis, still to this day) which was a “drawing salve” to help with skin irritations. I never thought I’d compare a band with a homeopathic pharmaceutical, but that’s just what I am about to do because Mount Moriah drew out whatever emotional poison was making me sick that night and wiped it away. By the time they were just a couple of songs into their set, I was a whole new person.

Frontwoman Heather McEntire has a voice that often puts me in mind of Dolly Parton and a toughness that summons Joan Jett. Mount Moriah’s latest album Miracle Temple showcases her finesse as a lyricist and the resulting poetry, set to gorgeous soulful instrumentation, gives the listener plenty to ruminate on. Perhaps that’s the trick in soothing savage beasts; give them somebody else’s story to dwell on for a little while. | Janet Noe Rhoads

All Photos, Jarred Gastreich

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