Town Mountain‘s new album, Southern Crescent, will be out on April Fools’ Day 2016 on Todd Snider’s new record label, Lo Hi. We previously featured this IBMA Award winning band just prior to the release of Leave the Bottle. When we talked for this podcast at Revelator Coffee in Nashville during AmericanaFest, the band had not publicly announced the album and were shopping it around. Southern Crescent reflects the band’s loose, dance-able music, more reflective of their festival and club sets that a staid performing arts center straight-bluegrass set. I’m not sure if the Southern Crescent still runs from Atlanta to Boston like my relatives talked about taking to go “visit culture” in the Northeast, but I’m fairly sure it still runs down to New Orleans, where a more exhilarating culture has endured — an apt analogy for this album.
Town Mountain & Lead Vocalist Robert Greer
Win Two IBMA Momentum Awards
Performance, Vocalist (Momentum Awards): Robert Greer
Performance, Band (Momentum Awards): Town Mountain
From their press release:
ASHEVILLE, NC– Congratulations to Town Mountain and their lead vocalist Robert Greer on winning 2013 IBMA Momentum Awards. Robert Greer takes home the Momentum Award for “Vocalist of the Year” and Town Mountain takes the honor for “Band of the Year.” The awards cap off a year of fantastic growth for the band which began with the release of their sophomore Pinecastle album, Leave the Bottle.
Based in Asheville, NC, Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, and Jake Hopping on upright bass.
One listen to their instantly memorable songs, and it’s plain to see why Grammy-winner Mike Bub would align with the group to produce Leave the Bottle as well as Steady Operator . Leave the Bottle effortlessly covers a wide array of styles in the string band spectrum featuring the stellar in-house songwriting that has become the band’s trademark. There’s the barroom swagger and honky tonk edge of tracks like “Up the Ladder” and the title track “Leave the Bottle”, the Jimmy Martin style bounce and confidence of “Lawdog” and “Lookin’ in the Mirror”, the Irish flavor of Bobby Britt’s “Four Miles”, and the laid back John Hartford style groove of “Greenbud on the Flower” among others. But no matter the style, the band’s delivery gives every tune a true and honest feel. The album went on to be listed as #6 Best Bluegrass Album of 2012 by Pop Matters, and WNCW listeners voted it #19 in the Top 100 albums of 2012. They will be working on a new album in the winter of 2014. Stay tuned to their website for more details.
“I’m not sure what the definition of bluegrass would be in words alone, but if that definition was set to music, it would probably sound something like Town Mountain’s Leave the Bottle… I could go on,” says Bluegrass Today’s David Morris, “There are no duds, and no filler songs on this project. But you get the point. This, my friends, is how bluegrass is supposed to sound.”
More information as well as their complete tour schedule and updates from the road are available at at TownMountain.net and facebook.com/TownMountain.
The Momentum Awards focus on artists and business people who are in the early years of their careers in bluegrass music. Five artists will receive performance awards, while three industry awards will go to key contributors in the bluegrass business. The Momentum Awards are not to be confused with the long-standing IBMA Awards, which are the gold standard for peer-recognized excellence in bluegrass music. The Momentum Awards will acknowledge something undeniable about bluegrass music—that many of its most dynamic artists and entrepreneurs are young or relatively new to the genre, and there are perhaps more artists playing bluegrass or bluegrass-related music than at any time in decades. IBMA looks forward to recognizing the best of them.
IBMA Momentum Awards are intended to encourage professionalism in bluegrass music among every generation. For more info, please visit the IBMA website at www.ibma.org.
We cannot stream it, but here is the link for a free download of Missy Raines new music.
From the press release:
(Nashville, TN) June 18, 2013 – Multi-award-winning bass player Missy Raines has long been one of bluegrass music’s most beloved musicians, but on New Frontier, set for release on August 27th, she explores the next step in her musical vision, redefining herself as a charismatic lead vocalist on a set of songs penned by Pierce Pettis, Sarah Siskind, Ed Snodderly, Zach Bevill (a Country Fried Rock alum with Farewell Drifters) and Raines herself (also a Country Fried Rock alum).
Drawing inspiration from indie rock and acoustic jazz as well as Americana and newgrass, Raines shapes a distinctive sonic landscape around the cool grooves of The New Hip (guitarist/co-producer Ethan Ballinger, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, drummer Josh Fox and Raines’ distinctive upright bass), joined by special guests including Sam Bush, The Farewell Drifters’ Zach Bevill and former New Hip percussionist Robert Crawford.
But the real standout here is Raines’ emotive alto—It’s an unexpected pleasure; smooth in delivery and surprising in context, it is also the defining element of New Frontier. Missy Raines is offering a free download of the title track “New Frontier,” inviting listeners to experience her new sonic vision first hand.
UPDATE: Nobody Knows You by Steep Canyon Rangers was just nominated for a Grammy Award! Congratulations!
Steep Canyon Rangers forged their way in the traditional music scene from their home state of North Carolina through regular forays into the Rockies and back at their base in the Western North Carolina mountains, putting in over 20,000 hours of hard work along the way. (Even Bob Lefsetz might approve of their drive.) Over the years, they have made their own mark within the tight-knit scene, but it was not until they were selected to be Steve Martin’s backing band that their name-recognition expanded beyond Americana, bluegrass, and old time fans. Add in a whirlwind few years of selected shows in Martin’s support and some hefty awards and honors, and the stringband from Carolina was suddenly time-warped from headliner to sell-out headliner.
Along the way, Steep Canyon Rangers took Martin’s advice and emphasized their strengths. His encouragement and seeing their ability to “hold their own” in such esteemed company yielded their most clearly defined album. Highlighting the “Steep Canyon Rangers’ sound” allows them to stand out in a bluegrass or traditional music festival, but also to captivate an audience when sharing the stage with other genres; in fact, that contrast of sounds often produces a better show for both bands. As a thank you gift for supporting his performances, Martin facilitated a graphic design partnership for Steep Canyon Rangers’ record, Nobody Knows You, for which they just won an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award for packaging design.
Despite their international recognition and recent success, Steep Canyon Rangers continue to support their region of North Carolina. Their festival, Mountain Song, held in Brevard, NC, has raised over $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County. The band is taking their knowledge of hosting a great traditional and acoustic music event to another stage this winter, launching the inaugural Mountain Song at Sea cruise (NOTE: not for the benefit of the charity) in February 2013. With much the same line-up as their festivals on land, this themed cruise should be quite fun. (NOTE: Country Fried Rock is in no way affiliated with the cruise, the band, nor the promotion company behind the cruise. We receive no advertising, sponsorship, or trade from any of these entities.)
Thanks for Shopping in the Record Shop for This Radio Show:
Steep Canyon Rangers