Town Mountain with Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry

The Grey Eagle

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A lively home crowd welcomed Asheville’s own Town Mountain back to The Grey Eagle on Saturday night.  The bluegrass quintet responded with energy to spare, blazing through each track from their fourth album, Leave the Bottle, whose release was cause for the night’s celebratory gathering.  With frontman Robert Greer serving as cordial host, the band’s sharp instrumentation, three-part harmonies, and strong stage presence made for an evening of quality bluegrass…if you like that sort of thing.

While I recognize and respect Town Mountain’s elite technical skill, I was more impressed by Steve McMurry’s generous opening set.  Alone on stage with his guitar, the man behind Acoustic Syndicate delivered a fine range of tunes far more vibrant and diverse than the main attraction’s textbook bluegrass sound.  McMurry’s occasional speed-picking solos were the night’s clear highlight and overall proved that, with roots music, less is often more.

-Review by Edwin Arnaudin

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