Local yokel rising crust folk singer, whatever that means. Described as a "hootenanny" by mother - tends to get a bit loopy. You decide!
The Mountains & The Trees are/is Jon Janes. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, bells, drums - often more than one at a time. He sings too!
After spending most of his musical career behind the drums, Janes finally came out of hiding (it was a large drum-kit!) and embraced the singer-songwriter inside. Shy at first, he adopted the stage moniker The Mountains & The Trees and has been loving it ever since. Originally a two-piece, it shrunk to a solo act, then grew to a a 3-piece, 4-piece, shrunk again to a 2-piece, grew again to a 3-pie… you get the idea. The size of The Mountains & The Trees changes with the weather and, often, with whoever in the crowd is brave enough to step on stage to play and sing along.
Genre-wise, Janes has too many effects pedals for folk, too many banjos for rock-n-roll (if you're wondering how many banjos are too many - it's one). He playfully describes himself as Folk-Pop or Folk-N-Roll. Recordings contain a variety of instruments, such as guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, bells, and drums. Live, Janes backs himself up with the help of some looping-pedals, some deft footwork, and a little luck.
The Mountains & The Trees have released two recordings thus far - Paper Or Plastic EP and Document . The former is a 5-song disc recorded on a shoestring budget and delivered in creative packaging (will that be paper or plastic casing?). It features Janes in a variety of roles, instrumentally and vocally, as well as guest appearances by Rick Lambe and Lous MacDonald. The latter is a full-length 15-song acoustic effort, recorded over three night-sessions at Park St. United Church in Corner Brook. Featuring Janes on vocals, guitar, and mouth harp, this disc is an effort to capture a moment in musical form. It comes in a hand-printed case with a photo-postcard and a package of dirt and seeds (please plant them). All this is contained in a vinyl case, hand-sewn with help (and love) by grandma. Document is also a limited-edition release of 90 discs. Both discs have received airplay on CBC and College Radio.
As well, to coincide with the 2009 ECMAs in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, the "Hop, Skip, & A Jump Promo EP" was released. It includes 4 songs featuring Janes accompanied by the Valleys & Seas Orchestra and a new run will be available mid-September.
With work on a new full-length album starting this summer and appearances at the East Coast Music Awards, Trails, Tales, & Tunes Festival, North By Northeast, NL Folk Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival, 2009 is shaping-up to be a mighty fine season for The Mountains & The Trees.
On top of that, there's Canadian Music Week 2010 too!
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