So one day I hopped off a plane in Melbourne waving goodbye to Detroit. I was a farm boy at heart with a love of the land but with a bag of harps over my shoulder and my precious collection of vinyl in my luggage.
Fast forward “a couple years” I find myself making music with Steve James, a jazz guitarist and music arranger, eclectic drummer Kev Foster and Luke Hynes, a dedicated ecologist, I mean bass player. Mountain Grey is what you have and ROOTS FUSION is what we play. It’s acoustic sometimes amplified, it’s blues sometimes folk, it’s reflective sometimes in your face.
‘Hey Steve, this song is pretty dark, I’m really searching for a little hint of sunshine in the middle section. Can we work on a musical theme to reflect the mood of what I’ve got so far?’ Mountain Grey’s songs are created and performed with this partnership in mind.
Our new album ‘Well I Wonder’ explores various themes about love, friendship, and the land all woven into the music.
The urgency of the music comes from playing live in the studio with very few layers added later. A time capsule of the songs are presented captured in the moment. Discerning listeners at live shows will be able to see how the songs continue to evolve and grow.
Emotions in the words are tastefully intensified with uncluttered musical arrangements by all the players.
Steve’s deft finger work one moment and percussive, driving rhythms the next, are interwoven with Michael’s understated but intense harp playing. Both strongly backed up by Kev’s delicate percussion and Luke’s precision bottom end on the bass.
Michael’s complex stories of humanity (as in ‘I Used To Be’ or ‘Lost in Lastovo’) or passionate observations of the world (as in ‘Too Damn Weak’ or ‘Heal This Land’) describe rural life, contemplative meanderings and danceable jaunts through our everyday.
That’s Mountain Grey.
‘Well I Wonder’ released June 2015. PBS-FM Essential Album of the Week, Across the Tracks Program.
Previous independent releases:
Mountain Grey, ‘Stories from the Rainshadow’, PBS-FM Essential Album of the Week, Across the Tracks Program.
The Corrugations, ‘Pennyroyal Sessions’, 774 ABC Melbourne, presented by Derek Guille live in studio interview and gig.