If you walk into Dan's Silverleaf this Saturday night and find five musicians known as Mountain Song, on stage, you won't hear your typical beat-driven tracks, but rather expect to find soft harmonies and calm melodies floating through the air. Their dreamy-folk sound just may take you mentally to a different place, specifically into the north-west mountains, where Mountain Song's founder, Dave Weaver, a local carpenter, has his roots.
The band's name is a reference to the restaurant founded in the 1970's in the Cascade mountains by Weaver's parents, one of the more health-conscious eateries of the time with vegetarian options. Taking both the name and the art associated with the restaurant from his childhood, Weaver says, "it was meant to be."
Weaver, the lead singer, and guitarist, with a background in classical and jazz music, originally created and wrote these harmony-driven songs while living in Austin about four years ago. He then recorded an entire album, writing everything from the vocals to the chords to the beat to the base on his own.
After landing in Denton in 2014 with his pregnant wife, also a musician, he set out to find the right band members to manifest his brainchild, turning to craigslist where he discovered the bassist: Blake Vaughn. Following Blake, Tyler Waters then joined the band as a drummer after running across Weaver's ad in the UNT music building and quickly learning all of the parts.
"Those two were just pulled down from the heavens... match made in Heaven," Weaver said.
Then along came Mike Fleming, a seasoned bassist who grew up playing music in punk and indie rock bands but transitioned to lead guitarist for Mountain Song, helping to write many of the guitar parts.
To add a celestial sound to the music, Weaver knew he wanted a pedal steel guitar which is when he recruited his fellow musician, Nicholas Richman from Austin. This instrument is similar to a lap guitar but on a stand, has nine strings and is played with the feet and both hands. By the end of 2015, the band played their first show.
As musicians, some of them husbands and dads, Weaver says, music is a passion of theirs they intend to play for their rest of their lives. Most of the members being no longer 21 and now in their 30's, Mountain Song is a long-term project in which they want to grow slowly, over the next ten years. Eventually, they'd love to go on tour, and play big shows in places like Europe, they say.
But for now, enjoying their favorite past time with each other, their expectations are simple.
"[We want to] just keep writing songs, keep playing music, keep playing shows, keep making albums...it's not a means to an end... music is the end."