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Tonight It's Now or Never

Blue Mountain

Initial release : 2002

DCN Records


  • Young and Tender Ladies (Traditional)
  • Bloody 98 (Hudson)
  • Lakeside (Hudson / Stirratt)
  • Banks of the Ponchartrain (Traditional)
  • Myrna Lee (Stirratt)
  • Jimmy Carter (Hudson, Stirratt)
  • Riley and Spencer (Traditional)
  • Rain and Snow (Traditional)
  • Black Dog (Hudson)
  • Poppa (Hudson, Stirratt)
  • Let's Go Runnin' (Mize)
  • Judgement Day (Johnson)
  • When You're Not Mine (Hudson / Stirratt)
  • My Wicked, Wicked Ways (Hudson / Stirratt)
  • Soul Sister (Hudson / Stirratt)
  • That Nasty Swing (Carlisle)
  • Sleepin' in My Shoes (Hudson / Stirratt)
  • I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes (Carter)
  • Rye Whiskey (Traditional)
  • Generic America (Hudson)
  • Go 'Way Devil (Traditional)

Musicians include;

  • Cary Hudson - guitar, harmonica, violin, vocals
  • Laurie Stirratt - bass, vocals
  • Ted Gainey - drums, percussion, vocals
Serving as their last official release, their first live album, as well as something of a career retrospective, Tonight It's Now or Never is a fitting coda for one of alternative country's pioneering bands. With two discs and 21 tracks, the band delves into generous helpings of traditional folk tunes, cowpunk anthems, and bluesy, feedback-heavy rock with equal aplomb. Whether storming through the rollicking "Bloody 98" or dipping into the hypnotic English folk of "Young and Tender Ladies," Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt imbue songs of sadness and longing with the genuine spirit of the Appalachian folk and Delta blues from which they draw. Similarly, the Neil Young & Crazy Horse riff rock of "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" and the Celtic shades of "Rye Whiskey" show a band who was more than capable of moving past the commonplace strains of Americana, sounding as much like John Doe and Exene Cervenka on their harmonies as they do George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Sadly, the group would part ways shortly after the March 11, 2001, performance at Chicago's Schuba's, with both Hudson and Stirratt either releasing or readying solo albums within a year, making this an excellent document of one of the band's final moments.
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