Harmoniker Roots blog

Blues to Americana, Folk to Country from Capital Public Radio.


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Mountain Standard Time, Bluegrass Tendencies With A Lot More


Drawn to Colorado by the promise of a flourishing, yet down-home, music scene the men of Mountain Standard Time came from varying geographic regions and musical stylings to develop a blend of music they call “free grass.”

“I had never played bluegrass until I moved out here. I fell in love with the whole bluegrass scene,” said Mountain Standard Time guitarist, Stanton Sutton.

He moved to Nederland, Co. from Connecticut looking for a place to meet and play other musicians. “The music scene that was growing at the time,” he said. “It was a little more low key than moving to New York or LA.”

The other band members had similar thoughts and they all met up in Nederland to form Mountain Standard Time. Sutton said prior to moving to Colorado he was really into progressive rock and jazz. Some of the other band members were heavily influenced by Tool and others really like Hank Williams.

One thing they learned about Colorado, bluegrass/folk was the way to get gigs. “The major scenes here are bluegrassy or country-sounding stuff – or straight electronic dance music,” Sutton said.

So the move toward american roots came both out of inspiration from the scene and smart marketing. “A couple of us have Jazz backgrounds. It was a pretty easy transition from the improvisational side of jazz to bluegrass,” he said.

But Mountain Standard Time isn’t really a bluegrass band.

“It has bluegrass tendencies. The instrumentation is definitely not a bluegrass band. It takes those elements of bluegrass and we basically draw from other inspirations in order to take the foundation of bluegrass to different places,” explains Sutton.

They call it “free grass,” playing off the idea of free jazz. They take elements of their favorite musical styles, slather it with a healthy dose of folky-string-picking and what you get is a complex, layered, foot-stomping good time.

Catch Mountain Standard Time at the Hangtown Halloween Ball in Placerville, Oct 24-25 and then again at Harlow’s in Sacramento on Nov 2.  



Melody Stone

Former Interactive Producer

After working in newspapers and doing print journalism for years, Melody transitioned into digital marketing and design. With a healthy blend of journalistic and digital media skills she builds out interactive web stories for Capradio.org.  Read Full Bio 

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