Furnace Mountain Lands Bob Harris Radio Session
Virginian band Furnace Mountain will record a session with legendary BBC Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris when they arrive in the UK later this year.
Whispering Bob fell in love with the band’s Fields of Fescue album on its release late in 2009, telling listeners it was “wonderful” and featuring tracks over four successive weeks.
The band has travelled far and wide – as far as China – to take their distinctive brand of American roots music out into the world. But when the four-piece arrives in the UK for a string of dates in September, it will be the band’s first ever UK tour.
Mandolinist and fiddler Danny Knicely and bass player/vocalist Aimee Curl played The Barbican Theatre last year as part of the celebration of American folk music presented there by Seasick Steve. Knicely is well-regarded as a top mandolin picker, having carried off the main trophy at the Telluride event for his playing.
Curl too has been in-demand for stints with Dave Matthews and Widespread Panic as well as turning out for The Woodshedders (just like all three fellow-Furnace Mountaineers).
The band had recorded three albums before making their first big impression in Europe with the release of their FIELDS OF FESCUE album late last year. It went straight into the Top Ten of the Euro Americana Chart.
UK music mags all gave the band’s latest release a big thumbs up, Maverick stating: “This band stands out because there is a freshness about their playing that makes the music sound new and vibrant,” while fRoots got in on the act with a “quite stunning” recommendation.
Writing in The Herald, respected music reviewer Rob Adams had this to say:
“The American roots music motherlode just keeps producing treasure, none more winsome and exciting than this quartet who take their name from one of Virginia’s most prominent peaks and their repertoire largely from the old-time, bluegrass and folk ballad traditions.
“Combining unadorned, honest singing with fiddle tunes that evoke both keening bagpipes and lonesome train whistles, interlaced with brilliantly audacious mandolin breaks, Furnace Mountain sound like a marriage between Be-Good Tanyas and the best bits of Nickel Creek – except with true Appalachian soil caked onto their boots”
AmericanaUK told the world it was “blisteringly good,” and writing for Rock ‘n’ Reel (R2) magazine, Jeremy Searle stated: “Those who despair of the Be-Good Tanyas ever recording again will leap upon this with all the glee of a starving dog on a particularly juicy steak.”
David Van Deventer is no stranger to a bit of positive publicity, having been a main player on his home turf for many years. A well-respected teacher of bluegrass mandolin and mountain fiddle, he has turned out for bands such as Cracker and The Country Gentlemen and he is given the credit for organising one of the most popular annual outdoor music events on the patch – The Watermelon Park Festival.
Morgan Morrison, who shares lead vocals, already has strong family ties with Britain and Celtic blood coursing through her veins that led her to pick up the bouzouki at an early age to start learning old-time that had English, Scots and Irish roots.
Furnace Mountain will be on tour (England/Scotland/Wales) from September 16 to October 2.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvstlvtY-Q8