Review By: Mike Gerry
Photos By: Jamie Platus
It’s rare that a 3 lineup band is so solid all the way through like this one was. We figured going in, that this would be a good night of music that we would enjoy. But this night was oh so much more.
Having caught City Mouse before, and we already new that we loved their live set. This young Atlanta folk band will make sure you have a great time, every time. With a mixture of instruments from this three piece including the banjo, guitar, stand up base, and fiddle, they are a foot stomping good time. Honestly, a live show from these guys is where it’s at, this is how you are supposed to hear music and they more than started this night off right.
Now City Mouse has captured the spirit of their live set on their just released debut three song EP “Joy of Life” which you can check out and buy here. Make sure to not to miss their live shows for the full experience.
Next up was Fire Mountain, a favorite folk rock band from Troy, Alabama on the great southern indie label This Is American Music. Fire Mountain released an excellent album “All Dies Down” in 2014 including one of our songs of the year “Doing Fine“.
I had only caught the end of a Fire Mountain song at the Old 280 Boogie at Standard Deluxe in Waverly, Alabama last year. So going into the night I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from these guys.
By this point, the drinks were flowing and every one was jolly following a hell of a warm up from City Mouse. And what we got from Fire Mountain was just one of those magical moments. Lead man Perry Brown owns the stage singing and playing his heart out like he was born to be on that stage. The packed out crowd, at The Earl, weren’t sitting around chatting, they all stopped, completely into the music. This is what Fire Mountain commanded, and we were all just along for the journey.
While at times Fire Mountain is just one of those good, straight forward folk rock bands, but what we saw was plenty of strong indie rock guitar chops mixed in, with the song “Fortress” being another huge highlight next to “Doing Fine”. At this point in the evening the crowd knew, this is why we go see live music. We didn’t want this to end.
Last up came River Whyless from Asheville, North Carolina. A few weeks before this show I didn’t know all that much about these guys. I wanted to go to this show so I checked into their 2012 debut album A Stone, a Leaf, an Unfound Door. On in the background while working it sounded like a nice album, but I wasn’t enamored at the time. Then a few weeks later I heard their new song Maple Sap from their about to be released self titled EP (out now). From the first note of that song, images of the Fleet Foxes immediately came to mind. And like that, they had me.
But don’t get me wrong, this is no Fleet Foxes rip off, these guys stand on their own. Sure there are deep harmonies that remind you of the North Carolina mountains, much like the places Fleet Foxes can take you. But with girl-guy harmonies and excellent musicianship full of instruments and sounds to fill your ears, this is a great band themselves.
The live show itself was just wonderful. The music puts you in a great mood, and was the perfect close to the evening. River Whyless you have a new fan here.
It was an interesting lineup all around. City Mouse is full of energy on stage. Fire Mountain is well, on fire. They rock out. Then things got much calmer with River Whyless up last. It was hard for them to match Fire Mountain on stage, not because they aren’t equally great, while it’s all folk, it’s just different types of music. If I was forced to pick a winner of the evening, it has to be the guys from Troy. They owned that stage. But all three bands were incredible in their own right, and I want to just relive this magical evening of music over and over.
Clip of River Whyless “Miles Of Skyline”
Clip of River Whyless closing the night with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” in the dark crowd
Clip of Fire Mountain “Fortress”
Clip of Fire Mountain “Doing Fine”