For the third edition of our Down in the Valley Sessions – shot at the first annual Down in the Valley festival hosted by The Head And The Heart in Napa, California earlier this year – we return to the verdant rolling landscape of the Hills Family Estate for an intimate performance by Mitch Cutts, frontperson and self-proclaimed “head dumbass” of Richy Mitch & the Coal Miners. Beneath the shade of a pair of willow trees, Cutts showcases his unique fingerstyle right hand – rather, left hand – approach on “Laramee.” The track feels right at home in this pastoral setting.
At times soaring and impassioned, at others tender and understated, Cutts’ solo renditions of these two numbers feel just as fully realized as the indie-folk, string-band sounds of the group’s recordings. “Lake Missoula” is right at home backgrounded by grapevines and foregrounded by palms, despite the distance from the glacial lake it references in the Coal Miners’ home state of Montana. “Lake Missoula, I’m letting you out,” Cutts sings, a poignant coda on a track that feels a bit like a musical amuse bouche. There’s a charm here, well supported by a palpable, genuine nature, that certainly illustrates why Richy Mitch & the Coal Miners enjoy tens of millions of listens each month on digital streaming platforms.
Our Down in the Valley Sessions continue next week.
Video Credit: Brad Wagner, I Know We Should
Audio Credit: Juan Soria, I Know We Should