Mountain Sprout on making music full time, new tunes


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About five years ago, Mountain Sprout made playing gigs and slinging tunes its full-time job. The band hasn’t wavered on that intention since. Sprout is a four-piece band that specializes in bluegrass-abilly and insurgent Americana, and the band’s music and lyrics are as straightforward and blunt as the aforementioned genres; the instrumentals are complex and smart, the lyrics smirking.

Grayson Van Sickle (banjo) recently spoke with us about Mountain Sprout’s traveling lifestyle and the new material the guys will soon release.

The Pitch: How did you guys meet/come to your instruments? Did any of you study music, or was it just a hobby that turned into a lifestyle?

Van Sickle: The current lineup came together in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a few years ago. Nobody in the band studied in any school of music, I don't think anyone in the band ever intended to be a professional musician. It just kinda happened after a while.

All we ever wanted was to hang out, drink beer and make money. We still do that, only now we do it like pros.

When did you join forces with Mudstomp and Pipeline?

Pipeline was first, two years ago. Then Mudstomp formed up, and we joined a little over a year ago.

What bands have influenced you, helped shape the way you write songs? Who do you enjoy going to see perform?

All kinds of influences help shape the songs, and they are not limited to bands. There are just too many influences to name. As far as who we like to see perform ... well, since this interview is for our upcoming shows at the Bottleneck, we would be remiss if we didn't say Split Lip Rayfield is our favorite band to watch live.

What festivals can people expect to see you at this year? I see Festy Fest and Wakarusa listed on the site.

We have a lot going on this spring. Here's a few of the fests booked so far:

Parkstomp with Mudstomp records in Medicine Park, Oklahoma - 3/17
Festy Fest in Lawrence - 5/19
Del Fest in Cumberland, Maryland - 5/26 and 5/27
Wakarusa in Ozark, Arkansas 5/31-6/3

The band seems to put out a new record every year (except in 2006). Any new material in the works for 2012? Also: Who does your album artwork? Those covers are sweet.

We are working on releasing another record this spring with all new songs on it. Adam, our guitar man, has done the cover art on some of the records.

Watch Mountain Sprout perform Friday and Saturday at the Bottleneck. Friday’s opener: the Ragbirds. Saturday’s support courtesy of Grass Crack and Cowgirl’s Train Set.


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