Atlanta’s Georgia Mountain Stringband, who have gained fans & traction over the last few years in Savannah, have a new album coming out soon. Having played a festival with the GMSB guys recently, I took a few minutes to check in with Jason Waller, and put together this Q & A, as well as add a link for our followers to check out the new material.
HL: Talk a bit about the new album & what it means to you.
JW: Georgia Mountain String Band went into Unity Studios at the end of May 2016. We spent the summer doing some overdubs here and there, and then came in and did the vocals all together. We really could have had it done a lot sooner but we are all busy with other projects, bands, families, and we like to take our time with things anyway. When we play we get the best responses from our original songs so a studio recording was the organic next step for us.
HL: GMSB sometimes has a bit of a rotating lineup, but do you feel as though this album accurately reflects the ‘sound’ that you were going for?
JW: We started as a pick up bluegrass band and over the last couple of years we have settled into the current line up. David Stephens and Eddie Kesler are both fantastic songwriters and brought two songs each for the debut studio recording. We are not a pick up band anymore. We get together and rehearse and bounce ideas off each other. We have the ability to mix and match players, and still very much like to explore where songs can go on stage. The impromptu musical happenings are mostly still unplanned. We have a lot of material and have played with each other long enough that we can sometimes guess where its going.
HL: What has the Atlanta/Savannah music connection come to mean to you?
JW: We’ve been down to Savannah several times. City Hotel is my favorite band on the planet and I try to get down and do shows with them when I can. I’ve known those dudes since before they were in a band, Cory Chambers and I used to play music together at Twains in Decatur and Jay Rudd and i played in a band called I Want Whiskey. It’s been awesome watching those guys become the people that they are, and make such fantastic music. Through City Hotel members I’ve met so many great musicians and people down in Savannah.
HL: GMSB seems to have a fairly constant schedule go gigs. Do you foresee keeping that motion going in the future?
JW: Yeah we play as often as we can. We do a lot of private events and brunches. Really anywhere they will have us. We plan on playing as much as we can. This new recording will be used to hopefully get us on bigger stages and in front of larger audiences. This whole thing has happened organically and a little bit at a time so I see it continuing to move in a positive direction as long as everybody is having fun.
HL: When is the next time that Savannah can expect either a GMSB, or solo Jason Waller performance?
JW: The band plans on bringing the new recording down to the lowcountry as soon as our schedules allow. It looks like it will be sometime next year. I believe I am coming down and doing some solo shows in January. Also you can expect the Georgia Mountain String Band to bring the ruckus sometime after that!