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Montana: Change in the Weather

Kansas. Boston. Chicago. Some American bands that took their names from states and cities eventually played their way into rock history. Then there’s Montana, a country-rock group from the Big Sky State that formed out of the ashes of the Mission Mountain Wood Band and met a much more tragic fate.

The Mission Mountain Wood Band played more bluegrass and country than rock and at the height of its existence gigged 320 days a year in 47 of the lower 48 states. The Montana offshoot released its debut album, Change in the Weather, in 1981 -- featuring five musicians playing multiple instruments and four distinct singing voices. The UK’s Angel Air label released the album on CD for the first time in 2019, introducing new generations to this band that was heavily influenced by the Eagles and probably posed a major musical threat to the likes of Poco.

Highlights go beyond the moderate lead-off single, “The Shoe’s On the Other Foot Tonight,” to include “Railroad Pickin’ Blues” (which recalls Neil Diamond at his ramblin’ best) and “Dreamer” (with harmonies reflective of Pure Prairie League). The only major misstep is the dreadful foot-stomping closer “Feminine Fever.” Despite thin and dated production, Change in the Weather deserves to be heard by fans of the genre.

Montana would go on to release two more studio albums and a live album before a private plane carrying all band members (including two originals) crashed in the band's home state in 1987, killing all 10 passengers. Years later, the four surviving members of The Mission Mountain Wood Band reunited for a memorial concert and have continued to perform off and on over the decades.

Track Listing:
1. The Shoe’s On the Other Foot Tonight
2. Sure Fooled Me
3. In Without Knocking
4. Railroad Pickin’ Blues
5. Change in the Weather
6. Dreamer
7. She’s Never Gone
8. Snowfall on the Mountain
9. If I Ever Fall In Love
10. Feminine Fever

Added: April 3rd 2019
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Montana on Angel Air Records
Hits: 819
Language: english

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