Mountain Standard Time: Album Release Party 2.18.11

Words & Photos By J-man
Videos By Carly Marthis

Album release parties always set an interesting tone. There is usually a sense of pride for the new material, paired with nervousness and anticipation. Coming through the doors of Cervantes a buzz could be felt. Talking to MusicMarauders' official taper, "Taper Corey," we discovered that we had missed John Skehan and Todd Sheaffer's (Railroad Earth) opening set. We settled into the semi-crowded Cervantes as Mountain Standard Time took the stage...

The first few songs sucked me in. I was captivated by their use of the saxophone as well as the banjo's stylistic approach. The sax player's jazzy tones fit well with the music and reminded me of Pete Wall and WhiteWater Ramble, but not on the same level. As the show unfolded they began to sound like Railroad Earth but again, not on the same level. I began to desire something original, something unique. I looked around at the decent crowd size and noticed the large percentage of folks just kind of hanging around chatting.

The vocals began to wear on me. It's not that they were bad, because they weren't. It's that they were similar, both in structure and sound, like so many other bands. I wondered if Mountain Standard Time had an identity of their own? The material was solid, the instrumentation was alright, but their sound was generic. After a couple of jazzy bluegrass tunes, a couple of slow songs about Nederland, CO, I had reached the point of utter boredom.

At that point, the only saving grace could come in the form of Railroad Earth's John Skehan. His furious instrumentation and energy helped bring Cervantes to life. His fingers flew up, down and across his mandolin as he made expressive faces. For me, this was the highlight of the show. One by one, John and MST traded off solos. John helped to challenge and elevate the band. Their version of "Raliegh & Spencer" was very enjoyable, from the vocals to the instrumentation to the jams. That song and the following are both songs that another Colorado jamgrass band (Yonder Mountain String Band) perform.

Following John's exit from the stage and a couple more generic sounding songs, it was setbreak. We took that opportunity to exit Cervantes and head on home for the evening. Mountain Standard Time can play/jam and instrumentally they sound good, but I seek original sound and innovation. Mountain Standard Time seems to be a band struggling with identity, buried in the vastness that is the Colorado Jamgrass scene...

J-man's Photo Gallery From The Show


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