Town Mountain almost rocked the building strait off the mountain side when they played at the Gold Hill Inn last night. Before the show started I spoke to some people at the bar who said they had traveled all the way from Oklahoma that day to catch Town Mountain. This is the quintet’s first national tour, and it seems to be long overdue. The men of Town Mountain projected professionalism and charm when they walked on stage shortly after nine in suits and hats. They opened with a rockabilly-sounding number that was reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis, then dove deep into a fiddle sawing breakdown. Throughout the night they alternated between traditional sounding bluegrass tunes and ballades, technical and driving numbers, country gospel, and some more modern sounding lyric.
The whole band, especially guitarist and lead vocalist Robert Greer, had stage presence of maturity and confidence that is not always easy to find. These guys are seasoned performers, and seemed very comfortable with one another.
Bobby Britt started the stomping, swaying, and clapping with his fiddle. He can play fast and loud and well. His fills were strait bluegrass, and though he went above and beyond to make the music what it was, I was a little disappointed to not hear some of the more dissonant and bluesy licks that are on their website.
Mando player and vocalist Phil Barker broke it down in between singing along side Mr. Greer and banjo man Jesse Langlais. They crouched around one microphone, picking and singing some original tunes.
Then Bill Nershi of the String Cheese Incident hopped on stage. Wow, driving deep into the mountains for your music really does pay off. Mr. Nershi sang and played with the guys of Town Mountain for more than a half hour to a packed room.
Seeing Town Mountain live was a pleasure, the Bill Nershi cameo was a total surprise (to me at least), but the unsung gem of the evening was discovering the Gold Hill Inn. Maybe I’m behind the times, but if the rest of you Boulder, Nederland, Fort Collins, or Denver dwellers have not made your way up Canyon St. you should go do so soon. It’s a timber lodge with a big, rustic dinning room, great view, and affordable drinks. The best part about it is the small, intimate music venue right in the front room. You can drive up, enjoy a Left Hand brew, and possibly catch Todd Adelman or Elephant Revival if you make the trip this June.