The Mountain Goats
Friday, July 26, 2013
“The Mountain Goats may once have been best known for the decidedly lo-fi nature of their early recordings, but time has proven that the wit and power of mastermind John Darnielle’s lyrics are what truly distinguish them. Darnielle is the sole permanent Mountain Goat, and first began recording short songs packed with mythological, historical and literary references on a malfunctioning boombox in the early 90s. The now-vast Mountain Goats catalog encompasses innumerable poetic short stories and character studies set to song.
From the raw urgency of the early cassettes to the polished, stately sound of records like last year’s Transcendental Youth, Darnielle has covered plenty of sonic ground. His lyrical prowess has remained a constant through it all. Darnielle is a master storyteller with an unparalleled ability to render vivid snapshots of troubled lives. His songs often find their subjects facing dark times, whether trapped in collapsing marriages or being institutionalized over their love for death metal. However dire the situation, though, Darnielle manages to wrangle hope and humanity even from the depths of despair.
Over the course of a two-decade evolution from home recording project to full-fledged band, Darnielle has also honed The Mountain Goats into a consistently fantastic live act. Though he can still harness the power of a solo acoustic performance, the backing of longtime collaborators Peter Hughes (bass) and Jon Wurster (drums) allows his songs to come alive in more fully-realized forms.
As one of modern folk music’s most striking and prolific acts, and torchbearers of the genre’s grand storytelling tradition, The Mountain Goats are an ideal addition to this year’s Newport Folk Family.”
– Ben Stas
Artists and schedule are subject to change.