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Johnson City band this mountain ready for Blue Plum

June 4th, 2013 8:50 am by Rex Barber

Johnson City band this mountain ready for Blue Plum

Members of this mountain shown here performing at Blue Plum 2012.


Members of this mountain have an eclectic background in music that blends to create the folksy rock sound they belt out most weekends.


If you haven’t heard this Johnson City-grown band, you’ll have a chance Saturday at Johnson City’s Blue Plum Festival. this mountain takes the Main Stage mid-afternoon.


“I’ll be playing music till the day I die, probably,” said lead singer and guitarist Matt Martin. “But it seems like something that could turn into a full-time paycheck of sorts.”


All members of this mountain (lower case letters intended) have regular jobs, but Martin said it would be wonderful to make a living playing music.


“We’re sort of doing the weekend warrior thing where we all still work jobs during the week, so we’ve been writing new material when we’re here and playing shows on weekends,” he said.


It seems like a far off dream at this point in one sense, but there’s that feeling that they are about to explode into something more than a “weekend warrior” band, Martin said.


He may be right. this mountain will be performing at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City in July. Performances in Knoxville and in Savannah, Ga., have taken members from Johnson City, but the New York performance is the farthest from home the band has ever traveled. And it’s New York.


“This one feels like a big deal,” Martin said. “Every show is a big deal but New York and Nashville — there are certain places you’re likely to get noticed more than others.”


Each member of this mountain has around 10 years experience as musicians and all are either from Johnson City or moved here for college.


Zach Chandley (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Taylor Green (bass, keyboard, backing vocals) have been playing since age 14 or 15 in various bands. Martin has been playing for 10 years. Patrick Taylor (banjo, guitar, backing vocals) has played in a ska band. Cody Ledford (cello, bass) has a degree from ETSU in cello performance. Andrew Gibbens (drums) played drums with a hip hop artist. 


That musical mix is likely a result of growing up in a time when musical experimentation was common, Martin said.


“When we were all growing up it was the ‘90s and people were just trying a ton of different kinds of music and we all listened to everything from Pearl Jam to Metallica and Bob Dylan,” Martin said.


this mountain’s first album, “Future Ghost,” was released this past August and has received good reviews. A new album is planned for this August.


Johnson City has a rich musical heritage, and most musicians here know of each other. Many have collaborated. this mountain members are no different.


“We’ve all kind of played in bands together,” Martin said. “It’s a nice thing to have, sort of like a Rolodex of people you can play music with.”


Blue Plum begins Friday in downtown Johnson City. For more information on the festival, visit blueplum.org.


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