Telluride Bluegrass #50: Town Mountain On Main Stage 6/16!

The 50th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival takes place June 15 – June 18. The event is sold out. There is no waitlist. If you are looking for tickets, use the Festivarian Forum to connect with other festival-goers. But tickets are still available for Nightgrass. (Click here.)

Learn more about other Planet Bluegrass festivals at

Please scroll down to check out our podcast with Phil Barker of Town Mountain.

Go here for more on Telluride Bluegrass. (Podcasts with Bluegrass legends go back to 2009.)

Town Mountain 2023 – Photo by Emma Delevante.

Praise for the outfit’s latest release abounds:

“The 15 Best Americana Albums of 2022”PopMatters.

“Town Mountain scales new heights with a down-home delight.”American Songwriter.

“With its latest album, Lines in the Levee, Town Mountain has justified itself as one of the most interesting and promising acts in an ever-evolving musical landscape, with the quintet purposely blurring the lines between Americana, bluegrass, folk, and indie scenes… a juggernaut of raw power and boundless energy onstage and in the studio.” – The Bluegrass Situation.

Town Mountain is an American bluegrass band hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, born out of top bluegrass jammers and all-night jam sessions held in the legendary picking scene of Western North Carolina.

Town Mountain combines a raw soulfulness with plenty of swagger to create a completely unique modern sound rooted in bluegrass traditions, but occupying the turf between traditional bluegrass, outlaw country, old school rock ‘n roll, and pure old-timey mountain music with boogie-woogie flavorings. In short, the outfit is known to harness the frenetic energy of a modern punk string band, while remaining respectfully rooted in the Bill Monroe tradition.

To date – and counting – Town Mountain’s music has garnered about 20 million Spotify streams and steady billing on the top-tour festivals – like Telluride Bluegrass – also in theaters, clubs, and house concerts.

“We’re lucky that our sound can kind of fit into a lot of festivals,” said Phil Barker. “We can be in the dance tent of a more traditional Merle Fest kind of festival, or we can be the more grass-ish band at an outlaw festival or at a jam festival. That definitely gives us a broader spectrum.”

It all started in 2005 when the original Town Mountaineers decided to take their homegrown sound on a national tour. That summer was spent traveling the country, sharing their music in smoky bars and hometown honky-tonks. The tour ended with a bang in Colorado, where Town Mountain joined the ranks of Steep Canyon Rangers, Chatham County Line and Yonder Mountain String Band by winning the prestigious Rockygrass Band Competition, another Planet Bluegrass event.

The band’s lineup solidified with the addition of Phil Barker in 2007; Bobby Britt in 2009; and Zach Smith in 2016, completing what the group call their “core.”

Town Mountain today includes: Phil Barker (mandolin/lead songwriter); Bobby Britt (fiddle); Robert Greer (guitar/vocals); Ryan Stigmon (pedal-steel guitar); Zach Smith (bass); and Devin Neel (drums).

For more, check out our podcast with Phil Barker.

Phil Barker, by Emma Delevante.


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