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Town Mountain 

When: Fri., July 1, 9 p.m. 2011
Price: $12
There was a time when the Baltimore-DC area played yin to Nashville’s bluegrass yang, but these days western North Carolina has taken on that role, offering a nifty Asheville-Nashville contrast that’s as musically pleasing as its terms are euphonious. Bands there tend to spring up on their own in a garage-band kind of way, but most learn to temper their youthful creativity with a respect for where the music came from. Town Mountain, celebrating their Mike Bub-produced second release (and Pinecastle debut) Steady Operator, are among the best, and the distance they’ve put between their first album and this one suggests they’re in it for the long haul. The material — most of it written by band members Phil Barker and Jesse Langlais — lies squarely in the funky space between old and new, and the execution just keeps getting better. With another busy season halfway under their belts, these boys are primed to deliver the goods.
— Jon Weisberger

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