PROFESSOR LOUIE AND THE CROWMATIX
MUSIC FROM HURLEY MOUNTAIN
WOODSTOCK RECORDS WR56
GOLDEN MORNING–HURLEY MOUNTAIN ROAD–ULSTER OUTCRY–ASHTON–FAMILY REUNION–CROP DUSTIN’ BLUES–YOU GOT ME DIZZY–JOHN’S TRACTOR–FOUR FARMERS–LIGHT IN YOUR EYES–ROCK ‘N’ ROLL BARN–LET’S GO HOME–ANGEL BAND–GOODNIGHT HURLEY MOUNTAIN
Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz and his band, The Crowmatix, are based in the upstate New York area near Woodstock and the Catskills. This recording was made in the LRS REcording Studio in Woodstock, and Professor Louie worked closely with Levon Helm and The Band from 1993 thru 2000. This album, entitled “Music From Hurley Mountain,” is a collection of eleven originals and three covers that were inspired by the quiet solitude and rich history of that area. The music herein is steeped in gospel, blues, and roots music, and one should listen to this set, at least the first time, in the order in which it was recorded. The fourteen cuts represent “a day in the life” of the residents of Hurley Mountain.
The Professor is on vocals, keys, and accordion, with Miss Marie on vocals, Frank Campbell on bass, Gary Burke on drums, John Platania on slide guitar, Josh Colow on lead guitar, and Larry Packer on violin. The set starts with a soft instrumental, “Golden Morning,” as the day begins, featuring the Professor’s accordion. Intricate harmonies steeped in a gospel background make up the core of the historical tale of “Hurley Mountain Road,” while “Ulster Outcry” features Miss Marie on lead vocal. “Ashton” is the account of a town flooded purposely to make way for a reservoir, but was never resettled. Larry Packer’s violin punctuates the “Family Reunion,” where Miss Marie urges all of us to stop and smell the roses while we’re alive, and that strong gospel feel returns toward the end of the set with a sweet rendition of the traditional “O Come Angel Band.”
“Crop Dustin’ Blues” features excellent slide guitar from John Platania, cleverly melded with the Professor’s organ lines. The good times roll as Miss Marie gives a rhumba-riffic version of Jimmy Reed’s “You Got Me Dizzy,” and the Professor pounds the 88’s into submission on the frenetic “Rock “n” Roll Barn,” with John’s slide ridin’ over the groove. The set closes with another pastoral instrumental. As the sun goes down and the moon comes up, we bid “Goodnight, Hurley Mountain.”
Professor Louie and The Crowmatix capture the feel and the spirit of the rich heritage of the Kingston-Woodstock-Catskills region of New York. “Music From Hurley Mountain” shows off this ensemble’s passion and versatility with this most excellent set! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.