You would expect that any group of musicians who refer to themselves as Bent Mountain would stay true to that handle by sharing a sound that might have easily have come from hills and heights. Consequently, it stands to reason that Come Home, a compilation that spotlights a number of Virginia-based musicians (Julie Wright, Scott Mulvahill, Ayden Young, and Blane Young) as well as various guests (Sierra Hull, Chris Eldridge, and Junior Sisk, among them) that lend their their time and talents to the proceedings, would aspire to a higher purpose. It’s little wonder as well that the individual at the helm, Dr. Quigg Lawrence, is a bishop and senior pastor at Church of the Holy Spirit, an Anglican parish in Roanoke, Virginia that’s found him ministering to his congregation for 32 years.
As a result, it’s also no surprise that just as Bent Mountain infers the fact that the music reflects the elevation of its originating environs, it also looks towards the heavens as well. The cover of the album bears the inscription, “Matt 11:28,” which references a passage from the New Testament — “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
While only a handful of songs directly reference religious teachings, there’s plenty of comfort shared in these songs regardless. You’ll Never Leave Harlan, Little Birdie, and Mother’s Only Sleeping offer soothing sounds flush with quiet compassion and a gentle repast. The spoken word Eulogy for Dr. Ralph and the album’s final two tracks, Come to Jesus and the a cappella, Softly and Tenderly, are more forthright in their spiritual sentiments, but in a sense, they fold well into the overall motif. This is, after all, a series of songs about caring and compassion, and that solace is evident in each of these entries.
Ultimately, Come Home is an album that invites everybody in, one that embraces the need for tranquility in a deeply troubled world. Even the uptempo tunes — Shouting on the Hills and Little Birdie — work towards the same ends, while rallying listeners with a sense of celebration through verve and vitality. The results reflect a positive perspective, and that makes Come Home a place that indeed is well worth returning to.