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    Town Mountain Announces Forthcoming Album
    New Freedom Blues

    The Bluegrass Situation Premieres First Single

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — June 15, 2018 — Today, Town Mountain announces their return with their sixth studio album, New Freedom Blues. Set for release October 5, 2018, producer Caleb Klauder joined the band at Asheville’s legendary Echo Mountain Studios late last year to record the 11-track masterpiece, which features drummer and Sturgill Simpson collaborator Miles Miller, as well as a duet and co-write with Tyler Childers. Along with the official album announcement, the album’s first single and title track, “New Freedom Blues” premiered exclusively today via BGS. Town Mountain is currently touring the U.S. throughout late summer and will appear at Ossipee Valley Music Festival, Soulshine Festival, and Wheatland Music Festival (full dates below).

    The word “freedom” evokes all kinds of imagery: running through a wide expanse of untouched nature, setting off on one’s own to explore parts unknown, standing up for deeply held beliefs – at the core, each of these manifests what it means to be free.

    It’s fitting, too, that the word made its way into the title of Town Mountain’s new album, New Freedom Blues. As the Asheville quintet’s sixth studio album and the follow-up to 2016’s Southern Crescent, New Freedom Blues marks an exciting new chapter for the band – one in which they fearlessly consider what it means to make bluegrass-influenced music in the modern era and one that should be a welcome listen for fans who have come to love the band’s raucous, no-holds-barred live performances.

    “The album is somewhat of a departure from the sound that we’ve typically recorded, our ‘bluegrass’ sound,” banjo player Jesse Langlais explains. “We took the songs at their face value in the studio this time, as opposed to trying to take a song and make it fit inside certain bluegrass parameters. It morphed into this idea that we should be playing the songs for what they are as opposed to what we thought they should be.”

    Recorded at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Studios with producer Caleb Klauder, the 11 tracks that comprise New Freedom Blues span the sum total of the band’s eclectic influences, from traditional bluegrass to roots pop to hardscrabble honky tonk. The album also marks the first time the band brought a drummer – Sturgill Simpson collaborator Miles Miller – into the studio.

    “Having a full drum kit on the record gave the songs a bigger sound,” mandolin player and vocalist Phil Barker says. “Miles has a great musical sense, a deep pocket, and rhythmically, a strong foundation. With him and Zach [Smith] playing together, it was a solid wall of sound for all of us to ride on. He’s really intuitive about what a song needs, when to give it space, and when to make it rock a little harder.”

    The album opens with the title track, a hard-driving roots rocker about the bittersweet feeling that comes after making the difficult decision to end a relationship. Anchored by a propulsive beat from Miller and featuring virtuosic displays of musicianship from the players themselves, the track seamlessly bridges the gap between the band’s old-school influences and their progressive, genre-bending inclinations.

    “‘New Freedom Blues’ is about the feeling you get after you’ve broken up with someone or done something you thought would be best in the long run,” Barker explains. “You keep telling yourself it was the right thing to do, but the second-guessing hurts like hell. The song specifically talks about a relationship, but the feeling could be applied to any life decisions, political or otherwise.”

    The tune and the album title also cleverly nod to the band’s sonic evolution, as well as their willingness to speak up about issues of inequality in the age of Trump. Album highlight “Life and Debt,” with lyrics like, “Piles and piles and miles of cash / couldn’t get me back to where I once was at,” is an unflinching look at the difficult financial realities faced by most Americans.

    “Lyrically, I’m trying to convey the struggle that most of us have with some form of debt,” Langlais says of “Life and Debt”. “Looking back to my first year of college, I recall credit card companies setting up shop in the student union, essentially handing out lines of credit to children with zero money management skills. It’s predatory behavior in my opinion, but I’m trying to get that across in a lighthearted way. However, it is a very serious matter. The line, ‘all the money’s in the politicians’ hands’ is a jab at our current political climate. As long as those folks up on Capitol Hill continue to keep their pockets greased, this will be an issue.”

    In crafting the new album, Town Mountain also called upon friend and fellow musician Tyler Childers, who co-wrote the track “Down Low” with Langlais, the album’s closing cut and an aching take on, as Langlais puts it, “one’s buzz being too big.” “To me ‘Down Low’ has a Waylon vibe, which is a damn good vibe to have,” Langlais says. “My favorite line in the song, which was a Tyler line, is, ‘I’ve been getting into meanness on the dark end of the street.’ Ahh, that’s downright lonesome.”

    Town Mountain is Langlais, Barker, vocalist/guitarist Robert Greer, fiddle player Bobby Britt, and bassist Zach Smith. Since releasing their debut album Original Bluegrass and Roots Country in 2007, Town Mountain have made a name for themselves in bluegrass and roots circuits and have amassed a sizable catalog of original songs. They’ve toured with a who’s who of like-minded artists, including Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys, the Del McCoury Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many others. Southern Crescent debuted at number four on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart, and held strong in the Americana Music Association’s Radio Chart Top Forty for 10 weeks. In 2016, Town Mountain made their Grand Ole Opry debut, performing both at the Opry House and at the famed Ryman Auditorium.

    With New Freedom Blues, Town Mountain has found a way to build off their past accomplishments and deep musical roots and to craft something new, exciting, and unapologetically authentic in terms of who they are as musicians and as people. Langlais sums it up well, saying, “This album illustrates the fact that bluegrass music will continue to be an ever-changing genre.”

    TownMountain.netfacebook.com/TownMountaintwitter.com/TownMountain,

    Here’s a featured video from our friends over at Hamilton Live in Washington DC recorded in 2018.

     

    Kind things folks are saying about Town Mountain:

    “I’d put Town Mountain on my list of Five Bluegrass Bands You Must Know in 2016, because while the genre has forked and morphed in wonderful ways, these guys from Asheville have more Flatt & Scruggs and more Jimmy Martin in their sound than any young band I can think of. And when they do nod to other influences, they tend to be from parallels to the early bluegrass era, like Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins for example. It’s been more than a decade now since they announced their arrival with a win at the Rockygrass band competition. And they’ve honed a unique identity around the voice of Robert Greer, the banjo of Jesse Langlais, the mandolin and singing of Phil Barker and Bobby Britt’s fiddle.” –Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots

    “The ascension of Town Mountain as one of the festival’s [Festival of Bluegrass 2016] premiere acts was demonstrated in a set that emphasized the North Carolina’s quintet’s obvious strengths – specifically, a rugged ensemble charge (showcased at once during the show opening Tick on a Dog), ample stylistic dexterity (the honky tonk drive of Whiskey With Tears) and individual firepower (Greer’s joyous vocals, Phil Barker’s quick-witted mandolin picking).” —Walter Tunis, Lexington Herald Ledger

    “Produced by Dirk Powell, Southern Crescent is hard-charging, grits-and-gravy authentic, the kind of emotions on the strings of Bill Monroe and Flatts and Scruggs pioneered more than 60 years ago. But Town Mountain is no copy band. With Songs written by each band member, and instrumental and vocal originality, Town Mountain honors the Ancients while bringing a collective and generational identity to their art.” —Raleigh News & Observer, Jack Bernhardt  (Print Sunday Paper 3/27/16)

    “Bluegrass has been simmering and evolving since the beginning, and although some of the changes were not as apparent to many… There should be room for all spectrums of bluegrass, and Town Mountain is staking out its own little territory.” —Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

    “Southern Crescent is a near-perfect balance of tradition and young, raw energy… They’ll hear a hundred years of southern musical culture bubbling up and finding a common point where North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana meet as old friends. Town Mountain’s style and sonic footprint comes from a foundation of rhythm and groove that comes not from just loving the music (that’s too easy) but from living the music.” –Premier of the song “Wildbird” in Bluegrass Today, Brian Swenk

    “I have seen this band many times, and while there are a couple of bigger names out there, this Asheville group is the most exciting bluegrass band to come along in a long time” —No  Depression, Amos Perrine

    “The first time I heard TM I loved, respected, and enjoyed them. And I do now more than ever. They have stuck with their deep bluegrass roots but as they have with all of their releases they have grown and expanded. They sound like Carolina, and they carry that sound farther and farther with Southern Crescent, their latest gem.” –Jim Lauderdale

    “The past echoes through Town Mountain, clear through to the future. To bluegrass fans I’d say the genre is in good hands. But you will dig the rough edges too! They’re a shot of 100 proof bluegrass with a honky-tonk chaser!” —Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth)