The Green Mountain Rebels shine with spicy country and blues
Reviewed by Carson James
The Green Mountain Rebels/If It Don’t Shine
There are moments during If It Don’t Shine where it becomes a struggle trying to categorize the Green Mountain Rebels as either country or blues. On “Sweet Salvation” and “Long Gone Soldier,” there seems to be no doubt that this is a real classic country band, when the genre classification still had meaning and garnered respect. In other words, the Rebels display their love for Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. But then there are cuts such as “Free Them Blind,” “The Sweetheart Dance,” and “Sunrise (East Winds Gonna Blow),” which finds these lads chin-deep into the blues.
Does it matter?
Only if you’re a purist, and I pride myself on an open mind. Besides, country and blues have been borrowing from each other since the beginning. (And the combination of both resulted in the birth of rock & roll as we know it.) The Rebels are the latest to join the Americana scene, and they’re also among the most invigorating. If It Don’t Shine is balls-out roots rock with no commercial compromises and studio pop polish. The country and blues dishes these Rebels cook is no fake stuff; it’s pure hard liquor, ready to swallow and spicy enough to burn your tongue. Recommended, you mean? Son, if that isn’t an order to purchase this immediately, then you haven’t been raised properly.