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The Mountain Goats

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Biography

Claremont, Los Angeles CA, United States (1991 – present)

The Mountain Goats is the musical project of and guitarist John Darnielle. The New Yorker magazine referred to him as “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist.” In its June 2006 issue, Paste magazine named Darnielle one of the “100 Best Living Songwriters.” Darnielle’s lyrics are literate and filled with imagery that reference classic literature, religion and mythologies, culture, art, and history. Others are vague references to his stepfather, and with the 2005 album The Sunset Tree Darnielle offered a more intimate account of his experience as an abused child.

Darnielle began performing under the name the Mountain Goats in 1991 in Claremont, California, where he attended Pitzer College and worked as a psychiatric nurse. The band’s name, the Mountain Goats, is a reference to the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins song Yellow Coat. Darnielle released his first album, Taboo VI: The Homecoming, on Shrimper Records. Many of his first recordings and performances featured Darnielle accompanied by members of the all-girl reggae band, The Casual Girls, who became known as The Bright Mountain Choir. One of this group’s members, Rachel Ware, continued to accompany Darnielle on bass, both live and in studio, until 1995.

Highly prolific, since the early Darnielle has released over a dozen Mountain Goats albums, 6 full-length cassettes, various 7” singles, 10” and 12” EPs and has contributed to compilations and label samplers too numerous to mention.

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