Friday, May 28, 2010

Mountain Heart - Live At Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, Pa.- A Review

Mountain Heart has been around quite a while as an excellent bluegrass band, they are in the process of changing into a country rock, Southern rock jam band, The newest member, Josh Schilling, has sang and played with several types of bands, and I read he has a separate project on the side, which would not surprise me. This is exciting, I thought I was going to a bluegrass show last and it turned into a jam session with several cover songs, some new songs for the new CD that they are working on, They are looking for a label, but their manager Brian says they are going on with or without a label, they can get some Distribution help and keep on Touring. They are already working on the CD. He gave me a three song demo CD, I can't let anyone hear it, but He said I can tease folk about. Here's a tease for ya, if your good, I will give you another tease at end of review, This CD has drums on it.

I got to Sellersville Theatre right after the first act was done (Fitzmaurice), heard they were good, from the nice couple behind me, This guy sent me some nice pics tonight,I had asked him if He would, and he did, will see if I can add a couple to the review, when it goes on CSO.

A little about Mountain Heart, in a big way ,this is a shame, I sampled some of their stuff, they have a real big discography. They have been a big bluegrass band, making lots of great songs. But on the other hand, When I talked to Jim Van Cleve He is excited about it. They know how great that Josh Schilling is, There is a great chemistry in the group, everyone plays together. Josh Schilling could take them places. He is a great singer, his vocals are so mature and strong, heard a youtube of him singing the national anthem with the rest of the group. He is an incredible keyboard player, reminds me of a young Chuck Leavell.(Who can sing and play guitar)

I really was not prepared for what I heard last night. I was expecting a show like the Ark,
but I got like a professional cover band. They started out playing an instrumental. It was good, one of the many short ones the group does. After that, the small crowd in the front started chanting, Louder!! Louder!! , Well, The Mountain Heart sound guy complied. From then on, it was real loud. The room right behind me, the rest of the Theatre that was empty
was loud, but the room had lots of noise, which made the signal midrangey.

Next, I heard a very familiar bass thump and the ride began as Jason Moore, on bass played the intro to "Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers. They virtually nailed the song note for note, in an acoustic way. The hi guitar parts were played by Jim on fiddle. The difference is Josh slows it down in the middle and does some sct singing with it.He is on electric piano here. Aaron Ramsey , their new mandolin player really is a great player and adds alot to the show.

They did an accapello gospel number and I thought it was weird that 2 members went into the side stage.

The show was pretty much focused on the very talented Josh Shilling , who has a great voice, is a great guitarist and played a lot of electric piano this night. I'm listening to the Ark show as I write this, The group seemed more focused that night, tonight ,they are sort of p rowling the stage. I also miss Barry's ongoing dialog with the crowd at the Ark.

The band jams on and on, and for a while, they settle down and do a few really nice songs. All of which will be on the new CD. They do a real nice version of Bruce Hornsby's "That's Just the Way it Is" , That one really caught me off guard as it is just plain rock music.
Also, "Very Superstitous" with some wah, caught me off guard. I did notice some people leave during the show, as they were expecting bluegrass, I mean, we are in a small town, in rural, Pa. This is a country/bluegrass group venue where the group is playing mostly rock and jam oriented music. They ended with more jamming, and left the stage, I mean, you knew they were coming back. Pretty soon, Josh and the bass player Jason come back and and Josh sits at the keyboard for another Allman brothers song, a newer one "Soul Shine".

And that was it, that's just the way it goes. The group sticks around and sign some Cds and stuff, I talk to Brian and JIm, very nice, down to earth group. I'm looking forward to this new CD.

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