Tenth Mountain Division Independently Releases Butte La Rose’

Article Contributed by Dreamspider Pu… | Published on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Colorado-based band Tenth Mountain Division is pushing the sound found in the mountains in bold new directions with their high-energy electro-acoustic sound. With Producer Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth) at the helm, the band recorded their third studio album, Butte La Rose, with engineer Todd Divel (Hard Working Americans, Fruition) at Silo Sound Studio.

Tenth Mountain Division is built upon the long-friendship of mandolinist Winston Heuga and guitarist MJ Ouimette. The two first met and started playing music together in high school, eventually landing at the University of Colorado in Boulder together where they formed Tenth Mountain Division as an acoustic trio. Over the next few years they added drummer Tyler Gwynn and keyboardist Campbell Thomas. Soon after their debut album (Cracks in the Sky) in 2016, the band’s lineup solidified with the addition of bassist Andrew Cooney and so did their sound: a high-energy fusion of roots-inspired, Southern Rock boogie that heads into unchartered territories. This is elevated even more with all members sharing in the songwriting, vocals, and arrangements. The band is named in honor of the famed military unit the 10th Mountain Division, the WWII pioneers of mountain combat who founded Vail, CO and many other ski areas across the country.

With ten songs, including one instrumental, Butte La Rose captures the essence of Tenth Mountain Division—fun, danceable, and surprisingly thoughtful and heartfelt. Ouimette calls it, “a snapshot of TMD’s last year of touring fused with new offerings that will intrigue the ear with stylistic diversity, unified by the personality etched in each song.”

Bringing together some of the hottest horns from the area—Scott Flynn (ODESZA) on trombone, Gabriel Mervine (Lettuce, Karl Denson, The Colorado Symphony) on trumpet, and Nathan Peoples (Coral Creek) on saxophone—the results of these sessions can be heard on two of the albums stand out tracks: the album’s fiery opener “Hot Sweaty South,” and deeper into the album, with it’s classic Memphis soul vibes from the horns to the hook, “Got Too Excited.”

Synth-pop meets surf-rock in a melancholic lament about the pitfalls of heartbreak in “Sad Summer,” while the powerful and somber “Get Out of My Head,” “Burning Heart,” and the eerie final track, “Big Blue Sky” run deep and dark.

Taking a different turn and bringing forth a lighter mood are the subtly sweet “Highland Morning,” featuring special guest Elliott Peck (Midnight North) on harmony vocals; the inspiring and hopeful instrumental epic “Spring Chicken;” the slick guitar and bass rocker, “Drown You With the Bottle; and the groovin’ “Girl Like You.”

Butte La Rose Track Listing:

1. Hot Sweaty South (3:53)

2. Sad Summer (3:33) 

3. Highland Morning (3:15)

4. Spring Chicken (4:59)  *instrumental

5. Get Out of My Head (4:43)

6. Burning Heart (4:30)

7. Girl Like You (3:10) 

8. Got Too Excited (3:22) 

9. Drown You With The Bottle (2:52)

10. Big Blue Sky (2:30)

Band Members:

Andrew Cooney - Bass, Lead Vocals (3,8,9), Backing Vocals (1,2,6,7), Guitar (3, 4,8,9)

Tyler Gwynn - Drums

Winston Heuga - Mandolin, Lead Vocals (6)

MJ Ouimette - Guitar, Lead Vocals (2,7), Backing Vocals (9)

Campbell Thomas - Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Lead Vocals (1,5,10), Backing Vocals (2,5,7,9)

Special Guests:

Will Trask - Percussion - Entire album

Elliott Peck - Backing Vocals (3)

Nathan Peoples - Saxophone (1,8) 

Gabriel Mervine - Trumpet - (1,8) 

Scott Flynn - Trombone - (1,8)

Tim Carbone - Backing Vocals (5)