Cary Hudson was born in the small church-oriented town of Sumrall, MS. It was here that the future musician grew to appreciate all styles of music, ranging from church music and gospel to blues and country. In the late '80s, Hudson formed the Hilltops, which evolved into Blue Mountain, with partner Laurie Stirratt and John Stirratt. The group toured the American South and released one album before John Stirratt left to form Uncle Tupelo. Blue Mountain continued as a trio, with Frank Coutch playing drums. The band released four albums over that time, including Tales of a Traveler (Roundrunner) in 1999. The group eventually split up in 2001, but not before Roots was released. In 2002, Hudson released his first solo outing on Black Dog Records, The Phoenix. He has shared the stage with Steve Earle as well as Marah, the group he discovered in 1998 and which eventually Hudson helped get signed. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, having completed a three week tour of Germany in the spring of 2002. Cool Breeze appeared on Black Dog two years later.