Harkening back to his East Tennessee roots, Brandon Heath invokes the people and landscapes of Appalachia on Blue Mountain. His latest release takes a creative leap by exploring biblical themes with homespun imagery that’s both nostalgic and timeless. Musically, Heath plays down the modern pop/rock sounds of his recent releases in favor of fiddles, banjos, dobros and other acoustic instrumentation. “The Harvester” and “Hands of the Healer” have a sturdy folk quality akin to the Avett Brothers, while title tune invokes the high ‘n’ lonesome mood of classic country. Upbeat, radio-friendly tracks like “Love Will Be Enough” add some contrast to heavier God-centered meditations like “He Paid it All.” Heath’s skill at storytelling is in fine form here, whether he’s saluting a beloved grandfather (“Paul Brown Petty”) or imagining the last meal of a condemned man (“Dyin’ Day”). “Diamond” and “In the Dust” express eternal spiritual values with fresh language and a compassionate heart. A standout release, Blue Mountain ranks among Heath’s most personal works as well as his most accomplished.