Robert Greer plays tracks from Town Mountain's Live At The Isis, talks about the winning an IBMA award and what it means to be a tarheel.
Also on this episode, rock & roll from the Ben Miller Band, Piedmont blues from Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, folk rock from Jonathan Byrd, jive blues from Luke Winslow-King, roots rock from Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes, a Sleepy John Estes cover by Dave Ray, a beautiful waltz by Mandolin Orange, soul music from Elvin Bishop, and a country crooner from Lee Ann Womack.
- Hurry Up And Wait / Ben Miller Band / Any Way, Shape, or Form / 3:03
- Back In Business / Beverly "Guitar" Watkins / We Are The Music Makers / 4:48
- Mama's Got Wheels / Jonathan Byrd / You Can't Outrun The Radio / 2:50
- Swing That Thing / Luke Winslow King / Everlasting Arms / 3:19
- You, Me And The Blues / Lachlan Bryan And The Wildes / Black Coffee / 3:05
- New Someday Baby / Dave Ray / Legacy / 3:13 (Sleepy Jon Estes Cover)
- Waltz About Whiskey / Mandolin Orange / This Side Of Jordan / 3:47
- Let Your Woman Have Her Way / Elvin Bishop / Can't Even Do Wrong Right / 4:57
- All His Saints / Lee Ann Womack / The Way I'm Livin' / 3:23
Town Mountain Info
Robert Greer of Town Mountain interview recap:
Calvin asks Robert Greer to run through the band line-up. He says, "Jesse Langley on banjo, Philip Barker on mandolin, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Nick DiSebastian on upright bass, and I play rhythm guitar and sing lead." Calvin asks how Town Mountain came together as a band. Robert Greer says, "Asheville's a small town and there's a lot of young musicians here. We just started seeing each other at the same parties. [laughs] And we had the same, common interests in music. We wanted a little more control over it. So we started picking with each other, playing music with each other, with a little more controlled environment, just 4,5, or 6 of us. It was just kind of a natural progression."
Calvin asks Robert Greer about the new album, Live At The Isis. He says, "It just came out. We just released it a couple of weeks ago. T was recorded right here in Asheville, our home town, at this newer club, nice venue, called This Isis Restaurant and music hall. It was built from the ground up for sound and it sounds really nice. Originally it was an old movie theater called The Isis. The Woody family owns the current Isis. They started it. It's their idea. Scott Woody is a retired veterinarian from Atlanta. He's a musician himself. His whole family is involved in the business. When we went in that night, we knew there was a guy taping it but that's all we knew. We didn't plan on recording a live album that night. After the show, Scott Woody told us he had a multi-track recording of the show and we knew there was another guy there with nice mics getting more of what was coming out of the front of the house. We had 25 or 26 tunes to cull from. It just made sense. It does a really god job of capturing a live Town Mountain show in our home town. The energy of it and everything.
Robert Greer sets up "Tarheel Boys." He says, "It's my favorite track on the live album. Phil Barker, our mandolin player, is a prolific young soung writer. He's been recognized for songwriting. He just writes a lot of songs. This tunes goes back to when the term Tarheel originated and that was during the Civil War. The soldiers from North Carolina said to be so tough and firm footed in battle it was almost like they had tar on their heels. That's where it's from and so Phil took a melody and put it to what Tarheel boys is. It reminds me a little bit of "Fire On The Mountain," which is traditional public domain fiddle tune. Anyway, he wrote this tune, Tarheel boys. It is upbeat, energetic. Phil sings lead on it. I do a little call and response harmony. "
[Calvin plays "Tarheel Boys" from Live At The Isis by Town Mountain.]
Calvin asks Robert Greer to tell us about Town Mountain winning the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards in 2013. He says, "They have these new awards at the IBMA that they presented a couple of years ago for the first time. They're called momentum awards. They are for bands like ours and others and musicians who haven't been in the bluegrass business for twenty years, you know? So it's more up and coming acts. And it's a way of recognizing up and coming acts. At the IBMA a lot of times it seems like the same guys win the same awards each year. And so it's always nice to be recognized. We were recognized for Momentum Band Of The Year and Momentum Vocalist Of The Year." He goes on to say, "It can be a discouraging business. For some recognition of all the hard work and long hours we put in a van driving around this great country of ours, yes it's nice for the recognition, absolutely."
Robert Greer sets up "Lawdog." He says, "This is another tune that Phil wrote. He also sings lead on this song. It's funny I'm choosing two that Phil sings on and I sing most of the songs on the set. This song is another stem-winder of a tune, no doubt about it. It's got a falsetto Jimmy Martin-esque type of intro, a capella style that Phil does and then the band comes in on the downbeat of the first verse. It's about driving around the country and running into the police on the road and having that kind of nervous feeling regardless of whether you're doing anything wrong or not."
[Calvin plays "Lawdog" from Live At The Isis by Town Mountain.]
Calvin asks Robert Greer if the band sticks to a traditional bluegrass format. He says that's their starting point but as the band matures they are starting to get into different keys and different sounds. He says you'll hear some honky tonk and traditional country in their music too.
Robert Greer sets up "Up The Ladder." He says, "It's a tune I wrote. I sing lead on it as well. It's kinda got a boogie woogie feel to it like Jerry Lee Lewis thing or something like that. It's about the proverbial treadmill of life."
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