Last month, Ol' Mount'n Due came away from the Southern Oregon Last Band Standing competition with the top-dog title and a $5,000 prize.
About two dozen bands competed in the 12-week competition, but in the end, the trio of punk rockers — Larry Grose on banjo, Steve Howell on upright bass and Jon Miner on acoustic guitar — impressed, if not surprised, the audience and the panel of judges with its original, old-timey roots repertoire and raspy, Tom Waits-style vocals.
"The other bands were great, but I think we have a better taste in what we listen to: old-time, bluegrass, jazz and pre-rock 'n' roll music," Grose says, adding that their individual playlists set the standard for the kind of music they play.
Who: Ol' Mount'n Due
When: 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12
Where: Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland, and Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub, 23 S. Second St., Ashland, respectively
Call: 541-482-7468 or 541-488-7973
The band used its victory winnings to record its debut album in Chris Solcum's West Medford studio and put new tires on Howell's minivan.
Ol' Mount'n Due, which has been compared to Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland; and 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Paddy Brannan's Irish Pub, 23 S. Second St., Ashland. The cover charge is $5 at Caldera, and free at Paddy Brannan's. Expect banter and a lot of "yellin', cussin' and carryin' on" between songs, Grose warns.
The trio's original songs address rejection, chaos, addiction, murder, "evil women" and — their favorite topic — booze.
"Steve and Jon are booze enthusiasts, and I'm a recovering alcoholic," Grose says.
Long before it was a type of soda and a copyright trademark, "mountain dew" meant moonshine.
"We play for a living and play for drinks, and that's what sucks about being drug-free and alcohol-free — that's pretty much how people want to pay you," he says.
Look for Ol' Mount'n Due's forthcoming, 12-track album later this year and disregard the batch of drunken lullabies posted on its Reverbnation site. They were recorded at 2 a.m. at Johnny B's and "didn't turn out too good."