Almost a dozen years in, Mountain Heart have taken an approach now echoed by many of their contemporaries: fusing the rootsy rhythms of mountain music with elements of more jam-based music. Still, they retain a certain respect for tradition that goes over equally well at state fairs and MerleFest — they’ve also appeared on the Grand Ole Opry more than 100 times — or opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now based mostly in Nashville, the band's players hold down day jobs as go-to session musicians (who doesn't?). They've been through a number of members over the years, to be sure — some members have come and gone multiple times — but the heart of the group, if you will, still beats with original members Barry Abernathy (banjo) and Jim Van Cleve (fiddle). They'll never stray so far from their roots as, say, The Avett Brothers (nor be as emotionally authentic and original), but the sheer musicianship they show ensures they'll rarely again have to play second fiddle, here or anywhere else.