‘Tis the season for giving.

Asheville bluegrassers Town Mountain have taken that notion to heart and on Saturday, December 19th, will be will be hosting their fourth annual bluegrass bash at Isis Music Hall to benefit the MANNA FoodBank.

Since its inception, this annual benefit concert has raised upwards of $7,500 in donations and has provided food for over 22,000 meals.

Joining Town Mountain on the bill will be long time Asheville favorites The Larry Keel Experience.

I recently caught up with Jesse Langlais of Town Mountain to discuss the benefit show and the band’s latest release of Grateful Dead tunes.

BRO – What was the inspiration behind starting your annual benefit show?

JL – Well, if you spend time downtown, you’ll realize that we have a very high homeless population. These folks are a part of the community and need to be treated that way. The best place to start what that idea is by providing a hot meal. However, hunger issues do not end there. There are plenty of families here in Western North Carolina that struggle to pay rent or pay for heating oil or to provide those three meals a day. Those families need help, too. A healthy community starts with a healthy life and healthy life starts with a hot meal.

BRO – Could you have a better partner in this than Isis Music Hall?

JL – We are very happy to have the Isis Music Hall as the location for this event. The Woodys and crew have always been very helpful.

BRO – And speaking of great partners, music fans have to be excited that Larry Keel is on the bill.

JL – Yes, Larry’s bands have always had strong ties to Western North Carolina. We love the music that Larry, Jenny, and Will make. They are dear friends of ours and our musical heroes, too. Neither band has played Asheville this year, so we hope that the acoustic music community and beyond will be excited for both bands as we make our 2015 Asheville debuts.

BRO – Along with the benefit show, you are celebrating the release of Town Mountain: The Dead Session. What’s your favorite Dead tune?

JL – We just released the Dead Sesssion this month. It’s been doing very well for us. I don’t have a favorite Dead tune – there’s just too many that are so great. I will say that The Grateful Dead embody the term “Americana” and Town Mountain can relate to that well.

BRO – If you could have gotten one of the members of The Grateful Dead into the studio with the band, who would it have been and what track would you have cut?

JL – Good question! Well, the obvious choice would be Jerry Garcia. He is a musical icon in American history. So, Jerry and Town Mountain recording “Althea” would be cool. The more realistic answer would be getting Bill Kreutzmann in on a tour with us. Who knows?

The benefit bash at Isis Music Hall starts at 9:00 P.M. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance through the venue’s website.

Town Mountain and Trail Mix would like to give you a chance to win free tickets to the show! Take a shot at the trivia question below and email your answers to dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com. A winner of two passes to the show will be chosen from all of the correct responses received by noon tomorrow (Thursday, December 17th).

Good luck!!

Question – What IBMA lauded bass player produced Town Mountain’s Steady Operator  and Leave The Bottle records? 

Photo by Sandlin Gaither.