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Town Mountain: The Dead Session Artwork by Taylor Swope

Town Mountain: The Dead Session
Artwork by Taylor Swope

Tales from the Golden RoadTown Mountain’s rendition of Grateful Dead’s “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” will debut this Sunday, October 25th on Tales from the Golden Road on the SiriusXM Grateful Dead Channel. Robert Greer will chat with hosts David Gans and Gary Lambert at 4pm ET briefly and the show runs until 6pm. It’s is a call-in show and if you want to join the conversation, call 888-897-4748! it rebroadcast Mondays at 9am ET and Wednesdays at 1am ET.
More info at www.siriusxm.com/gratefuldead and www.facebook.com/tftgr.

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” is one of two tracks Town Mountain recorded for their upcoming release, Town Mountain: The Dead Session, which hits the streets on November 13th. They recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC. The other track is “Big River” which 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.

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

“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.”

This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountain’s 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.

GratefulDeadXMChannel“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.”

“Musically, ‘Mississippi’ is extremely fun to play with exciting changes and a lot going on melodically… almost like there’s two songs in one.” Langlais continues, “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.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither

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 Deveroux 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.”

Town Mountain is in it for the long haul… check out out where they’ll be travelin’ to next and keep an eye on TownMountain.net for further dates as well as a brand new selection of merchandise. For updates from the road, please visit facebook.com/TownMountain, twitter.com/TownMountain, and instagram.com/townmountainbluegrass.

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Tara Nevins with The Heartbeats

“Wood and Stone”

From the Living Room to the Loft
SiriusXM Recording
Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
$15 , 21+
10pm set-time

The Living Room
212-533-7237
154 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
www.livingroomny.com
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American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins’ new release, ‘Wood and Stone’ is an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise. Released on May 3rd, 2011 on Sugar Hill Records ‘Wood and Stone’ was produced by Larry Campbell at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY.

Nevins will be performing a set of music from the new album live “From The Living Room to the Loft” on Wednesday, July 6th at 10pm. The Heartbeats,  the all-female, old time/Cajun band that Tara has played with for years, will be joining Tara on stage at the Living Room in NYC and the evening’s show is recorded to air on Sirius XM. Also joining Tara and the Heartbeats will be Lora Pendelton- Guitar and Vocals, Thomas Bryan Eaton- pedal steel, Barry Mitterhoff (from Hot Tuna)- Mandolin.

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Wood and Stone has been well received with sentiments of the music being an eloquent, honest blend of Donna the Buffalo, Americana, old time country, pop and straight up rock and roll:

“If heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll are defined by their uniqueness, they definitely broke the mold when they made Tara Nevins.” – Wildman Steve, The Corner News“Larry has taken Tara’s music to an entirely higher level, if this doesn’t turn into an award winner they’ll have been cheated!” – Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

“This is an exceptional piece of music, one that I think needs to be heard—to prove that people are still cutting ‘Country Music’ these days!” – Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

“‘Tennessee River,’ a dark and gripping song about love’s place in ones’ life, features Campbell’s harrowing, electric guitar wails. The record closes with a cathartic, beautiful cover of Van Morrison’s ‘The Beauty of Days Gone By’—bringing Wood and Stone full circle.” Bill Clifford – Relix

“…as invigorating as it is mesmerizing.” – Amos Perrine, No Depression

“… That’s the mark of the good ones, the guarantee is their name on the label, something Nevins shares with Van Morrison (maybe it’s the water in Woodstock) whose ‘Beauty Of Days Gone By’ closes out the album.” Blurt

“The pedigree of the album is staggering. Start with Nevins, who has been an integral member of DTB since its formation in 1987, and add producer Larry Campell along with guest performers Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, and Teresa Williams, and you get a record that is as solid as the building materials mentioned in the title.” – Fifty Cent Lighter Blog

“a stellar collection….It’s an album that sounds familiar, yet new, not an easy feat.” – Jim Morrison, No Depression

…..the real bridge between past and present is a voice, so singular and beautiful, that it must be heard to be appreciated. – Chip Frasier, Twangville

“… her music takes on the spirit of the [Levon Helm] Barn like a well-worn and cozy Gypsy jacket that was tailored to her shoulders.” – Brian Robbins, Jambands.com

“She’s outdone herself with the superb ‘Wood and Stone.’ – Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News

“exceptional music and excellent songwriting; ten of the thirteen tunes were written by Ms Nevins, and she does sure brighten the day.” – FAME


Visit www.TaraNevins.com for more information about the album,
a gallery of images, videos, music and lyrics.
Wood and Stone showcases Nevins’ ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. Featured guests on the album include Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams, The Heartbeats, along with the core band of Larry Campbell, Justin Guip, and Byron Isaacs.

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