THE debut album of indie folkers Winter Mountain is out next week, but their 'story so far' takes some reading.
Englishman Joseph Francis, from West Cornwall, and Martin Smyth, from Donegal, Ireland, both stepped onto the same train at Chicago's Union station and met for the first time. Both singers, both songwriters...both broke, but intent on making their way by rail to Memphis, Tennessee, the birthplace of Rock n Roll.
That night, the pair began a conversation that lasted until the early hours. A conversation that centered on their mutual love of the sounds of the 60s and 70s, of great albums and great artists, and great harmony singing: The Band, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
By morning they had named themselves Winter Mountain and committed to travel together, swapping stories, exchanging lyrics and singing together in the bars and clubs of the deep south.
On their return the guys spent a fortnight songwriting in Ireland, which led to a chance entry in a Battle of the Bands competition. Winter Mountain competed against the best unsigned talent in Northern Ireland, and won! It was enough to capture the heart of a local theatre owner who booked them to open for Irish singing luminary Cara Dillon.
After hearing Joseph and Martin’s performance Cara and husband/producer Sam Lakeman immediately signed Winter Mountain to their independent label, Charcoal Records and set about assembling a team of experienced musicians who could help realise the vision that Joseph and Martin had for their music.
With contributions from Robbie McIntosh (guitarist with McCartney, The Pretenders, John Mayer), Audrey Riley (string arranger for Coldplay, Nick Cave) and Leo Abrahams (guitarist for Brian Eno, Florence And The Machine), the songs were recorded in a host of vintage studios and the EP Find, Follow was the result.
The final touch to the EP was made when the highly acclaimed Mike Crossey (Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, The Arctic Monkeys) stepped up in the midst of his hectic schedule and mixed all three tracks.
Find, Follow is due for release on iTunes and other online outlets on May 20th on Charcoal Records.
You can get a taster below...