Town Mountain Aren’t Worried About Appeasing Traditional Bluegrass Fans
Mixing rock with honky-tonk and a Springsteen sentimentality, the North Carolina band is reshaping a strict genre.
With a cigarette dangling from his bottom lip, Robert Greer focuses intently on restringing his Martin D-18 acoustic guitar. Sporting a scruffy beard, camouflage hunting shirt, work pants and trucker hat with “Keel” (as in bluegrass guitar wizard Larry Keel) emblazoned on it, Greer finishes the job and the cigarette.
It’s day three at the Suwannee Spring Reunion, the Florida celebration of Americana and bluegrass, and Greer’s band Town Mountain is on the bill. The Asheville, North Carolina, quintet is a rapidly-rising string ensemble, despite being more rock & roll than bluegrass and more honky-tonk than country.
“We’re a bluegrass band, for sure. But I think the feel of the songs is rock & roll,” Greer says backstage. “Maybe it’s part of the evolution of the music. People are being more creative, writing their own stuff, and with so many influences in the digital age.”
Call it an evolution or a revolution, but it’s clear that Town Mountain is at the forefront.