Song Premiere: Town Mountain “So Far Away” and “Strangers”

Song Premiere: Town Mountain “So Far Away” and “Strangers”

Photo by David Simchock

Asheville, N.C.’s Town Mountain have released two new covers doused in their Southern Appalachian swagger, showcasing the distinct rocking style on their upcoming EP Dance Me Down Easy: The Woodstock Sessions, which will be released on Jan. 18, 2024, via New West Records. The recordings, which Relix has the pleasure of premiering, come in the form of Dire Straits’ “So Far Away” and The Kinks’ “Strangers,” and like the rest of the six-song set, were recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, N.Y.

The band–comprised of Robert Greer (guitar), Phil Barker (mandolin), Bobby Britt (fiddle) and Zach Smith (bass)–also produced the album at the venerable studio. “Recording at Levon Helm’s Barn in upstate New York has an instant cool vibe. You don’t have to search for it or pay a speaker to motivate you,” Greer shared with Relix. “The vibe is there…in permanent ink. It’s all over the walls and in the floors. The grounds outside exude it! The soulfulness is as much a part of the barn as is the foundation or the rough-hewn lumber.”

Barker also shared his excitement about recording at The Barn, calling Helm “one of, if not, the biggest influences on this band as a whole. He was a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, but definitely down home.”

Along with Dire Straits and The Kinks, Town Mountain pulled tracks by J.J. Cale, The Rolling Stones and Helm himself for the EP, which follows their 2022 debut, Lines In the Levee. Both covers are completely reinterpreted and quite different from their original recordings, opting for bright, warm, southern and twangy versions aligned with the band’s sound.

“I’ve always been a big Dire Straits fan,” Greer explained. “‘So Far Away’ has always spoken to my wanderlust. It’s as though Knopfler knows a thing or two about the frustrations of being on the road and missing the person you love who’s at home. Great songs are filled with relatable subject matter.”

Barker directly spoke on their sonic approach in regards to “Strangers,” saying, “To me it has this great building energy and perfectly captures the raw emotion of longing for connection, the most basic of human emotion. We all just want to know we’re not alone. As a band, we tried to give it a little more of a country, rocking flair.”

Enjoy the country-rocking flair on the renditions of the freshly premiered covers below.

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Town Mountain Tour Dates

1/18/24 – Manitou Springs, CO –  Lulu’s Downstairs

1/19/24 – Basalt, CO – The Arts Campus at Willits –

1/20/24 – Denver, CO – Ogden

1/25/24 – Chattanooga, TN – Barrelhouse Ballroom

1/26/24 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom

1/27/24 – Nashville, TN – Basement East

2/1/24 – Richmond, VA – Broadberry

2/2/24 – Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom

2/3/24 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre

2/15/24 – Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre

2/16/24 – Rocky Mount, VA – Harvester

2/17/24 – Asheville, NC – Salvage Station

2/22/24 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre

2/23/24 – Charleston, SC – Pour House

2/24/24 – Greenville, SC – Radio Room

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