Whatzup
John Minton

The Hills Are in Bloom

I have a very long and extensive love for metal, so when I first popped in The Hills Are in Bloom, the CD from Indiana University professor John Minton, I thought, “Oh boy. another boring bluegrass disc.” But my early childhood ears were saturated with bluegrass and country music, and I have a very open mind, so I gave it a shot. I’m glad I did. The Hills Are in Bloom is a very polished production, and John Minton is a masterful songwriter/lyricist with a grand vision and killer sense of humor. The CD is loaded with lots of witty phrases and one-liners throughout. 

On this, his third solo album, Minton takes everyday, mundane subject matter and crafts it into something fun and, at times, a bit unusual. He spins every track on the disc into a short story that can easily be played out and seen in the mind’s eye – kind of like a little movie. Minton covers everything from DUI’s to greed to heartbreak and lust with great ease and a simplistic flow. The hooks are very catchy and well thought out, especially on the songs “Your Brain Has Got A Mind All It’s Own” and “Pick Poor Robin Clean.”

The musical stylings are absolutely bluegrass, but mixed with obvious influences that combine Bill Monroe, a young Elvis, Johnny Cash, dirty blues and rockabilly. Minton has a real talent for taking you back in time, and the entire CD has a very “old school” feel and utilizes a plethora of different instruments and sounds without being overwhelming. Every sound has a very subtle feel, like a cool breeze on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the sunshine. 

The Hills Are in Bloom is the kind of CD that targets lovers of all things old and from a simpler time, but can be enjoyed by fans of most any kind of music, and that’s by no means an easy task to accomplish. (Michael “Myke D” Deaton)

Copyright 2011 Ad Media Inc.