Peachfest attendees are going to get a blast from the past when Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion takes the stage on Aug. 8.
The Southern roots-style Canadian band offers up gritty fictional and non-fictional tales from the prohibition and moonshine era in their guitar-laden music. Mitch Merrett, one of the band’s guitarists, said each of the band members has a wealth of knowledge and performing experience under their belt, making for a truly entertaining live show that anyone will appreciate.
But Merrett wouldn’t describe BMWR as contemporary country music and said that their fans are more grassroots because their music isn’t streamed on the traditional forums. He adds that they are excited to “play with our friends from Emerson Drive (who perform later that night) because it’s great when you can combine all of those synergies into a show.”
“Anytime we can play the music we’ve written and put so much time and effort into, and go out and meet new fans, it’s great,” said Merrett. “We’re a new band. We haven’t released anything to radio kind of intentionally, because we’re not contemporary country music like you hear on the radio. We’ve been just doing streaming with Spotify and Apple Music. We’re building up a fan base and we’re getting messages from people that are excited that we’re coming to Peachfest.”
This will be the band’s second time performing at the city’s premier free, family festival, and it’s not too far from home for Merrett who hails from Langley. Merrett is probably best known for his work as a guitarist and behind the scenes manager for Canadian country artist Aaron Pritchett, but he now wears the hat of songwriter, guitarist and more with BMWR.
The band’s debut single Holy Smoke helped them catch international attention in 2018 when Rolling Stone Country included BMWR in their list of 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know. After putting out a few more singles, the band released its first full-length, self-titled album in June 2019.
“We spend a lot of time researching fictional and non-fictional stories. Our latest song that we put out, Bloody Bill, is a true story about our singer and his relation to this unsavoury character from post-civil war days,” said Merrett. “He is slightly related to him through different bloodlines so he had this idea to do a story about Bill Anderson and it just fit the mood of what we do.”
Merrett added that this song is also his current favourite to play and that everyone says the song is more meaningful to them once they’ve learned the background to it. As the spearhead of the band and the inspiration behind the style of music and storytelling, Merrett said the moonshine and prohibition-era in Canada and the U.S. gave the band lots of stories with angst and grit to work with, which pairs well with their guitar-dominant sound.
Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion takes the stage at 7:50 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8 on Tim Hortons country night. For more information about Peachfest and the Peters Bros. main stage entertainment lineup, visit www.peachfest.com.
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