My Mountain (Open Nine Music)
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., June 3, 2016
Even after a decade rustling around Austin, Jeremy Nail still hasn't knocked the dust off boots used to treading his family's ranch in Albany, northeast of Abilene. That authenticity coats My Mountain, as the local singer-songwriter effortlessly, um, nails the alt.country aesthetic big-city boys shoot for. Initial effort since putting a burgeoning career on pause while fighting cancer, which cost him a leg, his second solo album betrays no hang-ups that producer and mentor Alejandro Escovedo doesn't guide him through with focus and precision. The opening title track rushes in slick percussion and blues guitar flourishes over an insistent acoustic chug, Nail's demure tenor insisting, "I might have fallen/ But I'll get up again." Blending similarly sparse six-string roots over a country-chord base, "Only Love" builds to a full bloom after a careful ascent. In fact, Nail's comfort zone resides in his lean toward a country base. The syncopated bassline of "Down to the Ocean" ripples with expansive guitar sustains and Nail's overlaid harmonies with himself. Deep, full strings begin "New Frontier," soon joined by the wistful whines of steel guitar rooted in a honky-tonk wheelhouse without taking it full tilt. My Mountain scales Jeremy Nail's rusticana with Lone Star aplomb.