ASHVILLE, N.C. - Since its beginnings in 2005, Asheville, N.C.’s Town Mountain has been destined to become one of the preeminent torchbearers for acoustic music.
Now, with the release of their fourth album, Leave the Bottle (due out in late summer of 2012), and an ever-widening audience of bluegrass, roots, Americana, folk, and even jam fans, the band finds themselves at the top of their craft and facing a limitless future.
Fawned over by fans and fellow musicians alike, Town Mountain channels their far-ranging musical vision through traditional bluegrass instruments, simultaneously paying tribute to traditions while redefining them.
The band covers all of the bases of tried-and-true acoustic music while keeping one eye firmly on the evolution of the form, tossing influences as varied as surf-rock, gospel, and honky-tonk country into their field of play.
Phil Barker (Mandolin, vocals), Robert Greer (Guitar, vocals), Jesse Langlais (banjo, vocals), Bobby Britt (fiddle), and Jon Stickley (bass, vocals) share the kind of easy musical bond that fosters harmonic perfection, both vocally and instrumentally.
One listen to their flawless playing and instantly memorable songs, and it’s plain to see why a luminary like Grammy-winner Mike Bub, who produced Leave the Bottle and 2011’s Steady Operator, would align with the group.
Its sound is intensely lyrical and musically overwhelming, and it has coaxed gushers of praise from no less of an authority than Jim Lauderdale. Lauderdale was driven to exclaim, "There’s a new mountain in town - Town Mountain - and they get down with heart, grit, soul, and dive! They'll get you moving!” They’ve done just that, winning the prestigious Rockygrass competition in 2005 before moving on to wow audiences at Merlefest,
Town Mountain’s sound arises from well-traveled ground, but as with all truly remarkable bluegrass groups there are indefinable qualities that make the band’s music especially memorable.
It’s the telepathic way that the guys make their instruments move together, creating mesmerizing interplay and intoxicating rhythms that energize every tune; the way that Greer’s righteous, genuine vocals bear the burden of life, love, and loss in every lyric; and how the heavenly harmonies head straight for your heart on hard-driving songs like “Run Junior Run” and “Don’t Go Home Tonight” as easily as they do on diverse numbers like “Leave the Bottle” and “Greenbud on the Flower.”
Thanks to its relatable, unforgettable lyrics, flawless musicianship, and arresting stage presence, Town Mountain manages to rise above the seemingly bottomless canyon of bluegrass bands playing today.
The band's undeniable charm and winning way with words recently won Town Mountain a spot on Putumayo’s recent Bluegrass release, showcasing the song “Diggin’ on the Mountainside” alongside tracks from Alison Krauss, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, The Seldom Scene, and more.
Town Mountain is branching out as a band and as teachers, making its first overseas jaunt to Finland in the summer of 2012 and holding court at workshops in Canada and St. Louis.
The prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association has twice selected Barker for their songwriting showcase (2010 and 2011), and the band was part of the official showcase in 2011.