Crazy Mountain Billies is the alias used by multi-instrumental musician and producer A.P. Bormes to describe the sound of a full ensemble that is created by the solo performer. The C.M.B. style can best be described as Freestyle Bluegrass. "I can say with absolute certainty that I have rarely heard anything quite like the Crazy Mountain Billies... the playing is exceptional from this multi talented multi instrumentalist... all of the elements of Bluegrass, but without being classifiable as being part of that genre…"-American Roots UK. CMB was originally established in Montana, but is now located in Colorado.
Currently the artist is performing live and arranging dates for the 2013 BURN DOWN THE MOUNTAIN TOUR in support of the latest e.p. release, as well as auditioning potential new band members.
All of the C.M.B. material is self-recorded, produced, written, performed, mixed and mastered. The instruments used include: 5 and 6 string banjo, 5 string bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, slide guitar, classical guitar, autoharp, jaw-harp, harmonica, tin whistle, washboard, vibraslap, shakers, cabassa, tambourine etc... Many bluegrass pickers play a variety of folk instruments- so A.P. Bormes takes advantage of this to the fullest extent! The music on the albums is created by recording percussion, bass and other instrument tracks- which are played back while the musician adds more layers of stringed instruments and vocals. The live performance is done in a different manner so as not to interrupt the flow. A pre-recorded kick is utilized to create a "mountain stomp" sound- and a loop pedal is incorporated for additional layers when needed.
One of the earliest songs that led up to the C.M.B. style, "Watson's Rag" was created with a loop pedal and an 8-track plugged into a car power inverter so that it could be recorded while camping in the backwoods of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Soon after, the musician moved cross country to Hollywood, CA to go to school for Audio Engineering. It was here where he built his first studio and began experimenting with the earliest material before moving back to Montana. The act was then named after experiences in the Crazy Mountain range- which was the inspiration for many of the songs. A new studio was built and the first two albums were recorded- a double release: "Don't Move Or I'll Shoot/Badlands" inspired by the rugged terrain and lifestyle of the midwest and Rocky Mountains backcountry. Shortly thereafter ''Badlands II" was recorded and then released August 1, 2010. Then A.P. Bormes went back down to South Dakota to record ''Badlands III'' inside a remote log cabin in the Black Hills and released the record April 15, 2011. C.M.B. spent the remainder of the year touring the Western U.S. before going back into the studio to record the''Hit Like A Hammer" album (released May 31,2012) as well as "Burn Down The Mountain" [E.P.] (released Nov. 22, 2012). Several music videos were also released during this period while the musician packed up and moved back to Montana for a short time, and then down to Colorado to pursue the bluegrass scene.