The Mountain Man Band

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‘Tis the height of summer. I’m writing this blog post here on a veranda not 100 yards from the beach in the sunshine. Sure what else would I be doing but writing about some great Irish music. This week I came across a band playing locally here in Galway, so I thought they deserved a wider audience.

Not to be confused with “Mountain Man” (the American three piece vocal group), the Mountain Man Band is as far as you can get from that as possible. It’s funny how the blues seems to be the only genre (well if not the only, the principle one) that specialises in  surrounding the artists origins in mystery. Going back to Robert Johnson, there are always semi-fables that lead you wonder where the truth ends and the legend begins. The Mountain Man Band are no different; this alternate Mountain Man Band are a bluesy rock duo made up of two guys who hail from the Gaeltacht. And that’s all I know for sure. They formed last year (2014) and have since racked up a number of recordings. The guys are going strong with only recently celebrating a year recording as a band. They have been taking part in Battle of the Bands in Dublin while gigging about the place.

My favourite of the recordings is “Play That Song”. It’s your straight-down the middle, no messing blues rock. I am reminded of the Mississippi hill country blues of R.L Burnside listening to it. The repetitive rhythm keeps your attention the whole time, it’s foot-stompin’ rock that is hard to resist.

 “All I ever Wanted” demonstrates the bands versatility. Taking the cadence down a notch, the song builds itself up to a crashing crescendo of drums and guitars only to return to the moody, longing words of the verses.

Where and how two men from the Gaeltacht got the inspiration and found their influences is something I would love to find out. On first glance it might seem that the West of Ireland is a very different place to Mississippi, the birthplace of the blues, but maybe not, when you start thinking about it both are rural with emigration a major influence on people’s lives and both places have a strong music tradition. The music of The Mountain Man Band goes to show that the musical style of one genre can easily still have an impact on two guys a few thousand miles away. That’s the power of music.

The Mountain Man Band are probably one of the best exponents of the blues-rock genre this side of the Atlantic. Going by what they have recorded in just a year, I would say that these lads should be destined for great things. The quality of these blues melodies would easily keep you intrigued until a full LP comes around. The Mountain Man Band have their own website where you can find out more about the band. Check out the Mountain Man Band on Facebook too and get a full idea of their sound through the Soundcloud page

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