At first, Round Mountain displayed what appeared to be a mid-western folk, fit for porches that overlook the flat country with its unbearable heat and plentiful fields of crops. Or maybe the backwoods covering the Appalachians. But as opening track “Don’t Lie Down” continues, something else happens – it begins to stray from the origins of folk to include a barrage of instrumentation quite unique. It maintains much of folk’s sensibilities, that authentic dusty grassroots simplicity, but at the same time it’s complex and genre-defying.
There is, for example, a drum-circle of bongos. And, perhaps most surprising, a slew of bagpipes. This eccentricity is what sets Round Mountain apart from your standard folk group. Not many bands can boast the inclusion of Round Mountain’s strange array of instruments. Round Mountain not only incorporates these oddities into “Don’t Lie Down”, they do so impressively.
“Don’t Lie Down” is off Round Mountain’s third LP, Windward, out this week on Red Shield Music.