Green Mountain Grass
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Green Mountain Grass, started as a porch picking band circa 2000 A.D. around the flatlands of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Transplanted to Austin in 2005, GMG has since evolved into a progressive and groove oriented string band ensemble that has gained quite a reputation and following among fans and music lovers alike.
The four band members in GREEN MOUNTAIN GRASS are Dave Wilmoth (mandolin), Adam Pickles” Moss (fiddle), Trevor Smith (banjo/guitar), and Jesse Dalton (upright bass). Together, they explore the sounds of traditional bluegrass, gypsy swing, folk, funk, reggae, and jazz to discover their own genre-bending sound. While some listeners haven taken to calling this sound “gonzograss,” the end result is described by the band as “melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic mastery with elements of sarcasm, quotes, humor, and exaggeration.” That description is all well and good, but it belies the fact that Green Mountain Grass is taking diverse traditional musical forms founded on instrumental mastery and improvisation and combining them to create something that is altogether new. Yet somehow, the band manages to preserve the elements of those traditions without dishonoring them. Bassist Jesse Dalton forgoes the ethnomusicology and simply describes the band’s approach as “a self-induced psychedelic frenzy of quick-witted talent as seen from the other side of the musical looking-glass.”
While they variously dare to be a bluegrass band without a guitar (sometimes) or a funk band without a drummer (usually), the combination of intimate acoustic instrumentation and adventurous free-spirited improvisation allows the band to be equally compelling no matter where they are. Whether they are in front of an attentive listening-room audience, on a tall stage playing to a throng of sun-baked festival-goers, or in a local venue orchestrating a gonzograss dance party for their fans, something exciting and inspiring is always being created. “