Vinyl LP pressing. Until it closed in 2009, Tennessee's Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary was one of the most notorious penal institutions in America. Located in mountainous Petros, it was a forbidding rockpile hewn out of the rough countryside by it's own inmates in 1896. On Oct. 17, 2001, Mark Collie came to Brushy Mountain with a sheaf of newly written songs about crime and punishment and an all-star band for a pair of performances that were recorded for a live album release. Mostly, though, Collie showed up at Brushy Mountain with a mission. A top-flight crew of musicians was assembled, including guitarist Dave Grissom (John Mellencamp, Joe Ely), keyboardist Mike Utley (Jimmy Buffett, the Dixie Flyers), guitarist-mandolinist Tommy Burroughs (Memphis Riverbluff Clan), Collie's longtime accordionist Hassel Tekkle, bassist Willie Weeks (the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, B.B. King), drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knopfler), and guitarist-fiddler-vocalist and solo star Shawn Camp. Austin-based critics darling Kelly Willis, who takes lead vocals on two tracks, also supplied backup vocals on several numbers; the late Texas blues giant Clarence Gatemouth Brown is the album's other special guest. Alive at Brushy Mountain embraces a breadth of American styles - country, blues, gospel, bluegrass, and rock n roll. It largely comprises striking original material, which contemplates the convict's lot with compassion, keen detail, and sometimes boisterous humor.