In terms of looking to the past for influences, Mountain Man puts the current crop of '80s and '90s nostalgists to shame. The group draws on genres from the first half of last century, singing simple, unadorned songs inspired by Appalachian folk, gospel and even barbershop. They do a remarkable job of capturing the stark beauty of those long-ago sounds.
There's no oversinging, but plenty of thrilling harmonies. It's slow-moving, front-porch music with lyrics that would fit a time when all there was to sing about was what you saw in front of you. "And a hole in the leaves we'll see / the bright baby eyes of a chickadee," they sang together on "Animal Tracks." Each member plucked a guitar for a couple of songs but the voices of Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Randall Meath were always the main attraction.