[Cover photo credit to Photo by Dylan Langille and the ontheDL Photography]
Two decades ago, Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band broke new ground, influencing the future careers of acts such as Greensky Bluegrass (Anders Beck), The Infamous Stringdusters (Travis Book), Leftover Salmon (Andy Thorn), and the Jon Stickley Trio (Jon Stickley).
Now, they are revisiting their formative years with the 20th-anniversary release of Cabin in the Hills, recorded by former Ralph Stanley fiddler Dewey Brown. The album suggests the trajectory of contemporary Bluegrass music. It’s arriving in vinyl and digital formats.
Today, the group has released their first ever digital single “I See Through Your Smile,” available now via Americana Vibes on all digital platforms.
As banjoist Andy Thorn recalls, the group was spurred out of a ski trip after being promised free passes at Purgatory, spending 32 hours in the car driving straight from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Durango, Colorado.
The first thing on the agenda was heading to Canyon Music Woodworks, which had become a well-known place to check out instruments and gather to promote shows and collaborate. By chance, the shop’s employee, Anders Beck, suggested they jam with him and his bass player friend, Travis Book, while in town.
They ended up at Robin Davis’ house later that night to jam, and that led to the creation of Broke Mountain during that summer of 2003.
Anders Beck reflects:
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since the five of us got together to create this album; and more importantly, the band itself. Listening back to ‘Cabin in the Hills,’ I hear the invincibility of youth. I hear a band that was planning to take over the world of bluegrass; a band that was going to be a big deal. I hear five friends that thought they were badasses. So now, as we view it through the rearview mirror, it makes me smile to think that maybe we were kind of right.
Travis Book weighs in:
20 years ago when we recorded this record we had no idea what we were doing but we were learning fast and riding the high of being in a band that clicked, that had a vibe, and that we all intuitively knew was going places.
That 20 years on we’re all still making music is remarkable, but harder to believe is that this group of “kids” would go on to forge careers in “bluegrass” and anchor some of the most progressive and successful “bluegrass-ish” bands of our generation. When we put together our 20th Anniversary shows it was clear that our record, which only saw one printing of 1000 CDs, needed to see the light of day and join the catalog of Americana Vibes and the collective works of these musicians. This record and this band was the beginning for the five of us and this re-release of Cabin in the Hills signals the beginning of a new era for Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band.
To celebrate their first-ever digital and vinyl releases, the band will reunite for two shows at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, Colorado on December 1st and 2nd. Tickets can be purchased HERE.