On Wednesday night, North Carolina-based Mount Moriah took the stage of a sold out DC9 with “Swannanoa,” a compelling rocker with a deceptively quiet start that’s perhaps a perfect introduction to the band. Like many of the night’s selections, the framework of the song shows off the traditional country beauty of singer/guitarist Heather McEntire’s voice, and proves why
Mount Moriah’s music performed live is an inviting and engaging blend of rock and twang.
The twang derives from the guitar and McEntire’s voice -- lending a touch of sadness and regret to the lyrics, her voice aches of sorrow, heartbreak or longing on the slower songs, while delivering strength and resolve to faster-paced numbers.
Even through lyrics than can be dark and heavy, the band proved comfortable and approachable. When McEntire asked if anyone was from North Carolina, it was clear that quite a few tarheel ex-pats had made their way to the club. After that exchange the tone for the performance was set, turning it into a seeming casual affair in front of friends. When someone yelled, “Where’s your beard?” McEntire replied with “My beer?,” looking around her feet. After a bit more back-and-forth revealed the misunderstanding, she drew a lock of hair across her chin, thus joining her bandmates In their beardiness and laughing along with everyone else.