Town Mountain brings the bluegrass-infused Asheville, North Carolina, music scene into its creative process. In a place where open and invitational bluegrass jams abound, there is little room for slackers, but there is always room for newbies. For a picker who really wants to learn to play from the best, jump in and try to keep up. For the members of the band, they do not join forces with either “side” of the bluegrass camps, and instead write music that appeals to the traditionalist while reflecting what is new and forward-thinking. Town Mountain are Big Tent pickers.
While individuals like Don Reno, Doc Watson, and Earl Scruggs who hailed from the regions made names for themselves, the proliferation of bluegrass jams has spawned many newer players and bands. Steep Canyon Rangers have made international headlines since 2009 when they joined Steve Martin as his “official back-up band,” but many other old-time and bluegrass peers, like Town Mountain, Red June, Balsam Range, and Dehlia Low, bring fresh ideas to the saturated Western North Carolina sounds. Jesse Langlais of Town Mountain sought out this rich musical haven, to hone his skills and make music his life.
With their most recent studio record, Leave the Bottle, Town Mountain keeps their recordings close to their live sound, while incorporating the process as part of the art. For them, this yields an “80% live” album. The band share writing responsibilities, not as a group, but as individuals who then bring some of their songs to the Town Mountain project. By allowing for the freedom to pursue solo projects and other permutations, Town Mountain never gets stale for its members, rather, it’s a refreshing return to a product that is more than the sum of its parts. townmountain.netYour purchase of these songs supports the musicians and this radio show:
- Town Mountain Leave The Bottle “Lawdog,” “Four Miles,” “You Weighed Heavy on My Mind”
- Steep Canyon Rangers Nobody Knows You [+Digital Booklet] “Knob Creek” (good excuse to include one of their current tunes)
- Steep Canyon Rangers One Dime At A Time “Ghost of Norma Jean” (also produced by Mike Bub, upon SCR’s recommendation, Town Mountain chose to work w/ Bub)
- Old and in the Way Breakdown “Jerry’s Breakdown” (yes, That Jerry Garcia)
- Flatt and Scruggs 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of Flatt & Scruggs “Bending the Strings”
- The Deadly Gentlemen Carry Me to Home “Sober Cure” (Sam Grisman is in this band, and another of Greg Liszt’s bands)
- Tim O’Brien Chicken & Egg “Sinner” (chosen because Mike Bub plays bass on this album, and Tim O’Brien is awesome)
- Crooked Still “New Railroad” Putumayo Presents Bluegrass (the compilation that includes Town Mountain, as well