Town Mountain x Rooster Walk
There’s no better way to kick off the summer than a good, old-fashioned musical festival, especially after a two year hiatus. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Rooster Walk hosted its 12th annual music and arts festival, with dozens of bands and musicians playing across multiple stages. Town Mountain made their humble appearance on Saturday night at the New Belgium Pine Grove Stage. Performing together for almost two decades, the band has made huge strides in their time together, including a collaboration with Tyler Childers. I had the pleasure of speaking with Phil Barker, the lead songwriter and mandolin player of the band to discuss the band’s history, how it feels to be back playing live music and some other upcoming projects.
Thank you so much for joining me Phil! How did you all meet & how did the band form? Thank you for the opportunity! We all moved to Western North Carolina around the same time, 2005 or 2006. There was a great bluegrass scene, still is, in the area. A lot of bluegrass james. We all just kind of got together, having similar taste in music and personalities fit together. It started at a summer project, got good reception and took off from there. One of our first trips was to Colorado actually and of course the Asheville, Boone area?
Where did the name Town Mountain come from? There’s actually a mountain in Downtown Asheville called Town Mountain. It kind of rolls off the tongue and it also pays homage to Asheville, where our roots are. There’s also this play on the town and the mountain, a hat tip to our country influence and more urban influences. A nice blend just like our style of music.
How would you describe your sound? There’s definitely some bluegrass influence; it’s got its roots in honkytonk, country and alternative almost dark country. We focus a lot on the songwriting perspective to be able to connect with our fans. We’re all songwriters who want to play original material and we all take a lot of time to focus on putting energy into the show.
How does it feel to be back at Rooster Walk after two years of a hiatus? It feels amazing. I think it feels amazing for everyone. We’re gotten tons of energy from the crowds and all of the shows we’ve played. It makes you realize how much you miss something until it's gone and its taken away overnight. Community, your friends, experiencing live music together. We’re really enjoying it. It’s taking us a bit to get back in it but were loving it.
Tell us about the upcoming project you have coming up. We just finished a record. One of the good things about quarantine time, we wrote a bunch of new material. We’d been shopping around for a label and then signed on with New West Records. We’ve got some singles coming out soon. New singles coming out the summer and some others in the fall.
What you most excited for this weekend? Andy Frasco! Talk about stage energy, he’s off the charts! He just puts on a major live show.
Town Mountatin can be found across all streaming platforms & social media platforms @townmountain – stay tuned for more updates on them & their endeavors!