Mountain Heart sellout streak

Mountain Heart is having a heckuva strong start to their new year.

Fiddler Jim VanCleve tells us that they have kicked off 2012 with a string of ten sold out shows, with a couple of nearly full houses in the mix as well. This is the best two months the band has seen in their nearly 13 year history, and to say the guys are psyched would be an understatement.

“The sell-out streak has been invigorating beyond description!! It’s a giant milestone for Mountain Heart, and we just couldn’t be more excited. It’s proof to us, that what we’re doing is WORKING. We’ve sold out more rooms by this time in the year than ever before, and the numbers of folks coming out has easily doubled in some of the areas we’ve played this year. Mountain Heart has had a lot of good success over the years, but I can safely say that we have reached a new high water mark.

Since the first of the year, we’ve been everywhere from CT, to NYC, to Ann Arbor, to Augusta and Athens, GA, Cleveland, OH, the coast of NC this year, and many points in between. The streak of sell-outs (especially in rooms of this size) by this point in the year is unprecedented, and we just couldn’t be any more excited.

We really want to thank each and every person who has come out to support us, or has told somebody else about Mountain Heart or shared our music with a friend. It’s lit a fire that hopefully will continue to burn out of control!”

Media opportunities are coming their way as well. 2011 found them featured on a number of NPR and PBS programs, and on local television affiliates in larger markets like Hartford, CT and Washington, D.C. already this year.

“When coupled with our rapidly expanding social media fanbase, it’s all grown quite powerful. I liken the media exposure and growing audiences to a snowball rolling down a hill in ways, and ours has definitely picked up some serious speed in the last 18 months.”

Jim also wanted to address the band’s unintentionally-acquired “bad boys of bluegrass” moniker, which had stuck to them from their earliest days when playing loud and long at festivals, and more recently incorporating keyboards into their set,

The guys are just trying to entertain the folks who appreciate Mountain Heart’s take on modern acoustic/bluegrass music, according to VanCleve, not trying to upset anybody’s apple cart.

“Our show has matured into a more musically and emotionally dynamic experience of late. We still love to get rowdy when its right, don’t get me wrong, but our presentation has become much more animated, and I can’t help but think that this has been partly responsible for the very noticeable growth we’ve seen in the last two years.

We will be working on a couple of different recording projects this year, and our itinerary is filling up with a lot of really cool venues we’ve never played – Baton Rouge, Notre Dame University, Pagosa Springs, CO, University of Wisconsin – we are chomping at the bit!!”

You can keep tabs on Mountain Heart at their official web site, or on Facebook.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Josh

    I couldn’t be more excited by this news. I saw them twice last year, providing support for music legend Tony Rice at ROMP, then being the first feature headline act at Master Musician’s Festival. (For me, their show was the highlight of a weekend that featured Chris Knight, Guy Clark, and Steve Earle). Both shows were great and gave me multiple reasons why they are moving to the “next level”, for lack of a better way to say it. They’re shows are not to be missed.

  • Jim Moulton

    These guys might be called the bad boys of Bluegrass, but they ain’t bad, The whole group is a down to earth bunch of musicians. They play styles from Sraight Bluegrass to Alt/southernrock/bluegrass, basically, they are an entertaining bunch. They move around, They are all excellent musicians, and they might just go into “Whipping Post” (Allman Brothers), or a traditional bluegrass song. They play with Tony Rice alot, those sets are excellent.