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    Town Mountain to Release Renditions of two Grateful Dead Tunes

    Click here for your pre sale copy

    To Honor the Grateful Dead in the year of the band’s 50th Anniversary
    Town Mountain recorded bluegrass versions of two of their favorite Grateful Dead songs
    Artwork: Taylor Swope
    Town Mountain: The Dead Session
    Features Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo & Big River 
    Due Out Fri, Nov 13th

    “Wow, I like these hard-core acoustic honky-tonk takes on two Grateful Dead favorites!” –David Gans, musician and co-author of This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead.”

     We are excited to announce the independent release of Town Mountain: The Dead Session on Friday, November 13, 2015. Each member of this band has enjoyed the music of the Grateful Dead for quite some time,” says vocalist and guitarist Robert Greer. “It seemed only fitting for Town Mountain to pay respect to some musical heroes in this year, their 50th year of existence.” They recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog, “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and “Big River” at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC.
    This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountains hard drivin’ style filled with a honky tonk edge and barroom swagger. The resulting sound is touched by Jerry Garcia with Jimmy Martin and John Hartford… Fitting since Hartford played a short stint in Old and In The Way before Vassar Clements filled out the band on fiddle, and Garcia’s first instrument was a banjo as he was influenced by bluegrass music throughout his career. Narrowing down to just two was not an easy task for Town Mountain.
    “What can I say about “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”? It’s just perfect. Lyrically it’s amazing,” says banjoist Jesse Langlais. “Robert Hunter can be so descriptive yet so vague in the point he’s trying to get across. Which is great for the audience because it allows listeners to choose what they want the song to be about. In my opinion that’s what a good songwriter does. He leaves the song open to interpretation.”
    Langlais says, “Musically, Mississippi is extremely fun to play with exciting changes and a lot going on melodically… almost like there’s two songs in one. On the original studio version of this song Vassar Clements plays fiddle. Bobby and I tried to mimic the interplay that Jerry and Vassar had on it. This is just an amazing song, and and it made sense for us to record it because it had a bluegrass master involved. We adopted it into Town Mountain’s repertoire without changing the integrity of the song.”
    “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and originally released on Wake of the Flood in 1973. It was performed over 230 times live by The Dead over the years and the song was also the second set opener of the second night of the Fare Thee Well shows in Santa Clara this year.
    Big River” was written by Johnny Cash in 1958. But true to The Dead’s fashion they would take other people’s songs or traditional songs and make them their own. They had a knack for finding covers that were transcendent of the original artist and they played it in almost 400 live performances.
    “We’ve always liked their version of country music. Even their original albums we’re steeped in that sound. Workingman’s Dead is full of country music influence,” explains Langlais. “The Dead kept the sentiment of ‘Big River’ but translated it to make an audience who may not have known what country music was love it. That audience for them was typically a younger more rock or jam influenced fan but they still ended up knowing the song and singing along.” “Big River” fits right into Town Mountain’s sound and wheelhouse.
    The core of Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Adam Chaffins on bass (Adam is featured on “Mississippi”). Evan Martin plays drums on both tracks. Jon Stickley fills in on bass and guitar in “Big River” and Jack Deveraux lays down the pedal steel on “Big River.”
    For the cover art, Town Mountain turned to long time Grateful Dead artist Taylor Swope. Taylor has been creating official Grateful Dead art since the former VP of Grateful Dead Productions discovered her in a parking lot at a show in 2003 and offered her a license on the spot. Her work has become iconic in it’s own right, having become widely associated with the generations of Deadheads who have grown up in the wake of Jerry Garcia’s passing.
    Riding the wave of excitement that followed Fare Thee Well where her poster was one of only four featured at both stadiums, and sharing Town Mountain’s deep appreciation for American roots music, Taylor says she “thoroughly enjoyed creating this image. I am obsessed with swimming and water in general, so when Town Mountain asked me to draw them a river with a Steal Your Face, it was a natural fit.”


    Here’s a featured video from our friends over at  This was recorded at Springfest 2015 at the Spirit of The Suwannee campground in Live Oak, Florida.  We love this festival and the campsite is always a good backdrop for music!  Thanks Philip!  

    Kind things folks are saying about Town Mountain:

    “This, my friends, is how bluegrass is supposed to sound.”

    -David Morris, Bluegrass Today

    “Town Mountain is not reinventing the wheel, but taking the wheel in their hands and driving the music down both familiar roads and out to new territory.”

    -Mike Bub

    “Kudos to Town Mountain for keeping the traditional spirit of the genre alive while at the same time pushing the boundaries.”

    -Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News

     “Leave the Bottle‘s compositions are masterful, the interplay between the musicians is astounding, and Town Mountain supply it with an army of drive… An absolute triumph of a record.”

    -Stephen Spoerl, Pop Matters

    “There’s a new mountain in town – Town Mountain – and they get down with heart, grit, soul, and drive! They’ll get you moving!”

    -Jim Lauderdale

    “Town Mountain is on the make. Coming out of the same NC scene that produced the Steep Canyon Rangers and Chatham County Line, this Asheville quintet is one of those bands that should make tradition-minded fans comfortable that the burning historic core of the music is alive and well.”

    -Music City Roots

    “Town Mountain, part of Asheville’s rich music scene, have released a fine follow-up to last year’s Steady Operator. Phil Barker’s “Lawdog” sounds like an unearthed classic, and the group’s tight harmonies alone make this record a treat for any bluegrass fan. This is one up and coming band you’ll want to keep an eye on in 2013 and beyond.”

    -Juli Thanki, 

    “Centered around strong, soulful vocals… Town Mountain couples creative, original material with impressive instrumental skill to define their dynamic style.  They are true to bluegrass in all the right ways and this new project keeps them firmly connected to the traditions of the genre, while also allowing them to reach out into the broad horizon of string band music.  Leave the Bottle comes highly recommended.”

    -Woody Platt of the Steep Canyon Rangers