Brandon Heath: Blue Mountain
Style: Appalachia-influenced pop/rock; compare to The Avett Brothers, T Bone Burnett, Mat Kearney
Top tracks: "The Harvester," "Diamond," "Dust," "Hands of the Healer"
Multiple Dove Award winner Heath could've easily gone the safe and easy radio route, but instead turns in his most compelling album to date. The Nashville native taps into childhood trips throughout Appalachia to visit his grandparents, resulting in a laid back, roots-centered record (with an ever so slight penchant for hip-hop rhythms) that's never short on pop sensibility. Topically, Heath blends tributes to his grandfather (a war veteran and church elder) and mentor Bob Goff (founder of social justice non-profit Restore International) with a fictional farmer, coal miner, and death row inmate—with a redemptive thread masterfully tying all of these compelling tales together.
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