Dobro, lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar, acoustic guitar, voice, and field recordings by M. Grig.
Recorded and mixed at home by M. Grig in Durham, North Carolina in 2018.
Mastered by Taylor Deupree in Pound Ridge, New York, 2018.
Cover and insert painting by Hyewon Jin Grigoni.
This recording was made possible by an Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant Award from the Durham Arts Council with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
About the album:
I wrote Mount Carmel with the place of my childhood in mind. The neighborhood in which I grew up had only two streets, both of which wound into cul-de-sacs between an interwoven set of barren, gentle hills in Los Peñasquitos, California. Growing up, my mother, who immigrated from Mexico to the United States to marry my father, told me that “Los Peñasquitos” means “the hills with white rocks on them.” Today I am told by the internet that it means “little cliffs.” I spent a lot of time on those little cliffs, kicking through dust as I explored them, watching for rattlesnakes.
I grew up between these hills, under the sun. Feelings anchored to material things constitute my memory of that place: the ice plant in our front yard we would step on to crush out its juice; the lava rock beneath the pine trees; the Santa Annas – hot, dry winds that would suddenly manifest in our backyard; the dry hills without trees, only brush – chaparral and sage – that I constantly climbed. This particular landscape permeates and orients the record for me.
I named the album Mount Carmel because there was a church at the bottom of our neighborhood that I attended growing up called Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I used to think of that entire landscape – the neighborhood, the church, the hills – as Mount Carmel. In my mind, I lived at the base of Mount Carmel.