Left to right, Zach Chandley, Patrick Taylor, Taylor Green, Matt Martin, Cody Ledford and Andrew Gibbens of this mountain. (Contributed)
There are lots of causes worthy of our support, and feeding local people who experience food insecurity should certainly be at the top of anyone’s list. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is one of the local organizations that take this mission to heart. In fact, they’re the only standalone food bank in their eight county region and they’ve fed the hungry for over a quarter of a century. Having achieved a four-star rating from Charity Navigator lets you know they are great stewards of resources, being both transparent and accountable. However, for all their good work, none of it would be possible without the help of the volunteers and donors from this community. And, that’s where you come in.
Two popular local bands have joined together to sponsor a Holiday Food Drive and to collect as many donations as possible in one night. this mountain is teaming up with Kryss Dula & Friends to play at The Acoustic Coffeehouse (415 W. Market St. in Johnson City) tonight starting at 8 p.m. While there is no cover charge, everyone is encouraged to bring as much non-perishable food as they can spare, to place in the Second Harvest Barrel which will be located near the front door. The barrel will be there from Thursday night through the weekend, so you may donate whether or not you come for the music. But, the music will certainly be worth coming to hear.
Opening the evening will be Dula & Friends. They are a unique outfit in that the members are rarely the same at any given show. Kryss Dula is the one person guaranteed to be at each gig, and he says “We never play for money, only to inspire people to have a good time and hopefully, to support a good cause.” The ‘Friends’ that now make up the bench for the band is approximately 20 deep and includes member and former members of bands such as A Great Disaster, These Undowners, and Wise Old River. They play mostly cover music with the goal of getting people to sing along and dance and generally express themselves enthusiastically. Local legend ‘Dancing Steve’ is often present at their shows, imparting a sense of pure uninhibited enjoyment. Kryss Dula & Friends have been featured on the Daytime Tri-Cities television show and they opened for Train at the ETSU Spring Concert earlier this year.
The headlining band will be this mountain. This group has been building a following of devoted fans for a couple of years as they toured the region. They have also played multiple shows at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, the Blue Plum Festival, and classic venues such as the Down Home in Johnson City. The idea for a Holiday Food Drive was theirs, and this is their second year hosting a Holiday Food Drive Show.
The members include Matt Martin on lead vocals and guitar, Zach Chandley on lead guitar, Patrick Taylor on banjo, Andrew Gibbens on drums, Taylor Green on bass, and Cody Ledford on cello. This is a tight knit group of friends, and the members have played together in various combinations in prior bands. Folk rock is their main genre, but they include elements of bluegrass and country, and have influences ranging from Wilco to My Morning Jacket. Their live shows are infused with passion, energy and talent. The last time that they played the Coffeehouse with Dula, people were literally dancing on tables by the end of the show. Bill Dawers of Savannah Unplugged reviewed one of their shows and was quoted as saying ““it was sure a memorable musical experience for me — one of those times when I know virtually nothing about a band and then, the moment they start playing, I immediately feel like I’m listening to a story told by a long lost friend”
The group exudes positivity and their songs reflect their upbeat philosophy. They have an eponymous EP and a full length album titled Future Ghost, which is available at http://thismountain.bandcamp.com. And, they are currently working on another album.
You can learn more about both bands and hear their original music on Facebook and ReverbNation at: