Mountain of Venus hurtles into the cosmic limelight with all the harmonic complexity and rhythmic fury you'd expect from interplanetary travelers. The ambitious full-scale tour on which they are embarking should prove to be a full-throttle journey through the contours of improvisational space.
The magnitude of their trip will be made all the more breathtaking by the addition of wonder-guitarist Steve Kimock for several dates on the tour-no doubt many a pulverized celestial body will be left behind in their wake.
By Tony Stack
With an extraordinary intensity and dynamic range, MOV is a union of delicately balanced harmonies, backed by a soaring musical landscapes and exotic rhythms. The band's compositions traverse from melodic folk-rock to adrenaline-pumping improvisations that seamlessly blend jazz, folk, and psychedelic rock concepts into you-gotta-hear-them-to-believe-them sonic montages.
The band is made up of five integral parts; powerhouse vocalist Tanya Shylock, Jody Cohen on rhythm guitar and vocals, Michael Pascale on lead guitar, Dave Gesualdo on bass, and the newest addition, "Stingray" on drums. There is really a sixth, and ultimately most important component, of course, which is the spinning, grooving fan-base that Mountain Of Venus has garnered over the past few years.
Perhaps the key to Mountain of Venus's particular magic is that even as the music winds its way through some of the more esoteric precincts of the psychedelic realm, there is still a tether, albeit a slender one at times, of familiarity that listeners can latch on to. "That can be explained by each members' influences, which encompass a wide variety of classic templates, from the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, to Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin and the legendary Motown artists of the 1960s. But these are only springboards, really. I don't think our music directly reflects those artists," contemplates Tanya, a New Orleans native whose shimmering, versatile vocals set the pace for Mountain Of Venus.
Mountain of Venus was one of the few bands invited to perform at both the High Sierra Music Festival and Berkshire Mountain Music Festival this past summer. They left in their trail a proverbial pool of joyful tears from performances that many found to be of epic
proportion in there scope, power, and sheer groove.
This unique combination of innovation superimposed over the familiar-whether it is in the form of creative originals or inspired cover tunes-seems to have an enormously broad appeal. Mountain of Venus audiences reflect a wide spectrum of age groups and tastes, yet uniformly rise in response to the energy generated on stage. One can only imagine how beautifully Kimock's unique musical voice will blend with this well-crafted act.
The band's intensity and reputation (as well as the sparkling personalities of the members!) has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the musical community, attracting an impressive list of special guests to share the stage including: Little Feat, Steve Kimock Band, Mike Gordon of Phish, WAR, Derek Trucks, Max Creek, Melvin Seals, Rev. Jeff Mosier, and David Nelson Band among others.
Mountain of Venus has scaled amazing heights in the few years they have been together, releasing three live discs in two years. The self-titled debut album serves as a testament to their growth, and to the amazing potential now being realized in such a short period. MOV also has recently produced a five-song demo recorded at a premier studio in Denver, CO and is currently shopping for a record deal. While a studio release is on the slate, "the live setting," MOV promises, "will always be MOV's natural habitat. Our live performance is a really powerful, strong and energetic experience," explains Shylock.
With over 175 shows on their calendar for 2003 alone, this is one band you don't want to miss when they touch down in your town.
Here is their current tour schedule:
Sep 20 | Together Fest @ Black Oak Mt. Amp., Lampe, MO
Sep 21 | Win Fest, Winslow, AR
Sep 23 | Mojo's, Columbia, MO
Sep 24 | Cicero's, St. Louis, MO
Sep 27 | Private Function, Philadelphia, PA
Oct 03 | Roxies, Tahlequah, OK
Oct 04 | The Outland, Springfield, MO
Oct 10 | Galileo's, Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 11 | The College Bar, Stillwater, OK
Oct 17 | Fat Jack's, Texarkana, AR
Oct 24 | Full Moon Club, Memphis, TN
Oct 31 | Chester's Place, Fayetteville, AR
Nov 04 | QUIXOTES TRUE BLUE, DENVER, CO w/ special guest STEVE KIMOCK
Nov 05 | QUIXOTES TRUE BLUE, DENVER, CO w/ special guest STEVE KIMOCK
Nov 12 | Irish Pub, Tallahassee, FL
Nov 13 | Market on 7th, Ybor City, FL
Nov 16 | Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, FL
Nov 22 | Outback Lodge, Charlottesville, VA
Nov 26 | Phil's Grill, Virginia Beach, VA
Dec 13 | MEXICALI BLUES, TEANECK, NJ w/ special guest STEVE KIMOCK
JamBase | Oregon
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