Mountain Man, The Dead Tongues 11/2/2018

Mountain Man
The Dead Tongues
Look At Me Don’t Look At Me Tour
November 2nd, 2018
The Waiting Room Lounge
Omaha, Nebraska

Sometimes, when we least expect it, we stumble upon amazing music. For me, that was the case with tonight’s show. A chilly November night found us at The Waiting Room for a concert that I would normally consider outside of my element. Life requires us to step outside of our comfort zone on occasions though.
Asheville, North Carolina native Ryan Gustafson, as The Dead Tongues opened tonight’s show. Gustafson, solo on stage, cut his musical teeth while nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Gustafson, who had unfortunately lost his voice earlier in the tour, played a unique mixture of classic country/blue grass and songs from his Unsung Passage debut album.  Tonight he was playing “somewhere between no voice, and kind of a voice.” This made for some interesting arrangements during his set. Gustafson switched back and forth between quiet, well paced vocals, and focusing on a harmonica. Mountain Man’s Molly Sarle took lead vocals for two of the songs during his set, and provided a really cool twist to his music. The mixture of mountain blue grass, and a classic country style was something that I never thought I’d enjoy in a live setting, but this guy is a superbly talented musician.
Mountain Man’s set was, as the trio of ladies put it, “aggressively quiet” and enraptured the entire crowd for over an hour. These three woman stood center stage, with a single microphone between them, and perfectly unified their voices. The band’s set focused on their 2018 Magic Man release, and highlighted fan favorites off of their previous album and EP.
Their ethereal voices harmonized into ghostly wisps, only occasionally backed by a soft acoustic guitar or the quiet toe tapping of the crowd. Being a fan of Amelia Meath’s electronic-dance other project, Sylvan Esso, I was not expecting Mountain Man’s a cappella traditional Appalachian folk sound. It was truly a haunting set, and the perfect reminder that there’s more to music than just heavy metal and industrial.