ASHLAND – Rising from the Cascade-Siskiyou Mountain range of Southern Oregon comes Eight Dollar Mountain, an exciting, high-energy bluegrass quintet. The group effortlessly blends whitewater-fast rhythms, tasteful harmony arrangements and plenty of low-end thump for a live performance that is sure to get crowds dancing and hollering for more.
Eight Dollar Mountain serves up neo-traditional bluegrass blended with old-time country, blues, and gospel harmonies, to audiences up and down the West Coast. Their hard-driving rhythms pull you onto the dance floor, while their clear, purposeful sound reflects the traditions of mountain music.
The group started in early 2010, after members happened to go to the same bluegrass jam in the hills outside of Ashland. The guys each shared a similar passion for bluegrass, newgrass and old-timey music, so after pickin’ on a few standards, the group’s formation seemed natural. Hailing from all over the United States, each member contributes a distinguished improvisational style, creating a fresh bluegrass sound that’s unlike any other.
The band’s enthusiasm for bluegrass runs deep. Their music is catchy and distinctive; they want you tapping your feet with a grin on your face. Bluegrass has a broad appeal, and Eight Dollar Mountain knows how to connect folks with the genre’s timeless themes, long history, and songs for regular people. This band knows well that music is something everyone has in common and they skillfully tailor their act to each unique audience.
The boys relish every opportunity to play and are equally comfortable in a neighbor’s living room, or on center stage. At home in Southern Oregon, the band has a strong local following and is widely recognized in the community. They also love to travel to new towns and communities, reaching people with different backgrounds, gaining a greater insight to the human experience and musical diversity. Being on the road inspires them toward greater musicianship.
Bill Monroe’s “true songs” inspire original songwriting from all five band members, evoking human stories and rural landscapes of yesterday and today. The warm sound and authentic story-telling appeal to modern sensibilities pay homage to the roots of folk music. This acoustic string quintet shares the vocals by taking turns singing lead and representing their own styles in vocal harmonies. Through it all, their passion for the music shines brightly.
Since coming together on a foggy mountaintop in 2010, this hard-working group has achieved wide acclaim. The band has released three albums, Wild River Country (2010), and Riverboat Gambler (2012), and Tied to the Tracks (2014) . They have opened ahead of nationally touring acts Peter Rowan, Allison Krauss, and eTown, and performed on the nationally syndicated NPR radio program, West Coast Live. Eight Dollar Mountain was also honored to be a finalist in the 2012 NW String Summit band competition. They host community jam sessions and perform consistently at music festivals, local clubs, schools, barn parties, and dances. Eight Dollar Mountain sounds familiar, like the tunes coming from grandfather’s back porch, yet their energy carries the tradition of bluegrass into the 21st century.
With blinding-fast flatpicking by guitarist Darren Campbell, the driving rhythms of banjoist Stuart Green, the monstrous chop and Monroe-like tones from mandolin player Phil Johnson, the pulsing low-end of bassist Joe Porto, and the haunting bluesy riffs of resonator-guitarist Mark Lackey, Eight Dollar Mountain is taking the Northwest by storm.