Town Mountain, ‘One Drop in the Bottle’ [Exclusive Premiere]
North Carolina-bred bluegrass band Town Mountain are preparing to release a new album at the end of October, but they're giving The Boot's readers a sneak peek at one of its tracks. Press play below to hear "One Drop in the Bottle."
Town Mountain's vocalist and mandolin player Phil Barker co-wrote "One Drop in the Bottle" with Charles Humphrey, formerly of the Steep Canyon Rangers. Barker tells The Boot that the pair began pulling together Western imagery "and the story kind of presented itself."
"It's the cosmic Americana journey of a hard luck traveler out in the American West," he adds. "His bad breaks turn him into a man void of conscience, out to do harm whether he wants to or not, eventually giving his fate over to the desert winds."
Barker is joined in Town Mountain by banjo player Jesse Langlais, vocalist and guitarist Robert Greer, fiddler Bobby Britt and bassist Zach Smith. "One Drop in the Bottle" will appear on their forthcoming album New Freedom Blues, which is due out on Oct. 26. It's Town Mountain's sixth studio album, and a bit of a departure for the group.
"We took the songs at their face value in the studio this time, as opposed to trying to take a song and make it fit inside certain bluegrass parameters," Langlais explains. "It morphed into this idea that we should be playing the songs for what they are as opposed to what we thought they should be.”
Caleb Klauder produced New Freedom Blues, which Town Mountain recorded at Asheville, N.C.'s Echo Mountain Studios. It was their first time working in the studio with a drummer, which Barker says "gave the songs a bigger sound."
Listen to Town Mountain, "One Drop in the Bottle":