The difference is subtle, but mountain music and bluegrass are not the same thing. Both revolve around banjos and fiddles, but where bluegrass strikes the high, lonesome sound and aching harmonies, mountain music is more closely the white man's blues. Mountain music tends to get overlooked, but the tunes of Appalachia are a deep well of human emotion.
So why is it that the most interesting mountain music I've heard in a while is being made by a man who lives in Seattle?
Danny Barnes new CD "Dirt on the Angel" is a lovefest of mountain music, mixed in with a few other genre twisting arrangements, touching on avante garde jazz and pop ballads, but it is the fiddle, guitar and banjo employed impecably that makes "Dirt" a must-own CD for music lovers. Barnes strikes a note of authenticity that only somebody who has absorbed the music into his soul can achieve.