We’ve been big fans of Mountain Man and their long-awaited sophomore album, Magic Ship, released last September. We caught the trio at their tour kickoff show, fresh off a short run at SXSW. The group brought along fellow North Carolina based musician Jake Xerxes Fussell to open the show.
Fussell is a skilled guitarist and wonderful storyteller. He played a mix of originals and folk traditionals that sometimes left us guessing which was which. For folk music fans in attendance who enjoy the simplicity of music like Mountain Man’s, Fussell’s similarly straightforward brand of folk/blues was a welcome surprise to start the evening.
From the moment the ladies of Mountain Man took the stage with their arms wrapped around each other, they commanded the crowd’s whole attention for the entire set. Kicking off the show with “AGT,” the group instantly showed the beautiful blend and control of their voices. There’s a special connection the three share that is even more apparent when watching them perform live.
Amelia Meath, Molly Sarle, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig each took center stage throughout the set to lead. Sarle and Sauser-Monnig also shared one guitar on the few songs that were not sung a cappella. The group’s complex three-part harmonies were totally flawless. The crowd was reverently silent during each song, not wanting to miss a single note, before erupting with cheers and applause. It was so quiet one could hear the slightest sounds like a stage floor creak or a delicate breath mid-song – something that is rarer than ever at a live show these days.
Between songs, the ladies’ banter was unexpectedly playful. Their jokes and stories only added to the cheerful, upbeat vibe of the evening. Although their set was short at just over an hour, Mountain Man left us even more impressed by their talents and eager to see what’s next for the group.
You can stream Magic Ship on all streaming sites, or purchase it in all digital shops or from the band’s web store. You can catch Mountain Man on tour throughout the U.S. until September 21 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC. A complete list of tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photos by Robert Rose.