Rumpke Mountain Boys are a staple band in Cincinnati. Every show they put on is different than the last. Rumpke Mountain Boys recently released their fourth album, High Time, Low Tide. The album was self produced and released on their own label, RMB Music. They also recently picked up yet another CEA for Best Bluegrass Act!
CincyMusic.com: Rumpke Mountain Boys have been a staple in the Cincinnati music scene for quite some time. You could pretty much say you have a cult following. How do you keep your shows fresh for the folks coming out to see you time and time again?
Jason Wolf: We've actually come to pride ourselves in the fact that we keep things so fresh and new as much as we do. Whether it's for no other reason than us just wanting to not have to play the same songs every single night... At some point that constant repetition can drive a person crazy, no set lists are written. We like to pass the lead vocal every song while everyone accompanies them. With all of our songs compiled were working on about 1600+ total...between the 4 of us we bring at least 1 or 2 songs a week to the table and growing!
CM: Tell us about the writing and recording process for the new album, High Time, Low Tide…
Ben Gourley: There was a much more laid back approach to the making of this album. Some of the songs had been written for years and had seen their way in and out of the live rotation while others were completed just before the tracks were recorded. We didn't try to finish the album in one block of time either. We would spend a couple days recording, go on a few runs of shows, then pick up where we left off a few weeks, or even months, later. This gave us more time to listen back to the mixes and change dynamics, bring in guest musicians, as well as giving us time to "break in" some of the newer songs. Another benefit to the time we took was the ability to develop a concept behind the artwork involved. The songs really dictated the concept (a predominant maritime rumble) and the flag image was already designed and waiting, so it was easy to fill in the gaps given the time to recognize the patterns.
CM: What is your favorite thing about being a band from Cincinnati?
Jason Wolf: For me Personally, it's the fact that I get to travel AWAY from Cincinnati so often while working on the road, and it is A LOT of time gone. So when I am home, I get to enjoy it more and appreciate it for what it is...a great city full of culture, music, family, and history. There's almost always something good going on if you know where to look. Hey but that's kinda why we are doing this interview. We need to encourage more people to go out and support some local artists...especially other artists. In my opinion that's the only thing that will transform our music scene, into a musical community. After all, we are all in this together.
CM: How did it feel to not only play the 2016 CEA’s, but also receive one?
Jason Wolf: What a great honor! It's awful nice to go from being on the road constantly touring to being in our hometown getting recognition for all of our hard work throughout the year. What fun! As far as playing the CEA's, it's always awesome to play for other musicians, we enjoy the feedback from other like minded musicians.
CM: What is next for Rumpke Mountain Boys?
J.D. Westmoreland: We are looking forward to festival season and making music across the country. There are ideas of possible live recordings and more options for fans to hear the music. Part of what makes this a unique experience is the unknown paths we will take, either on the stage or otherwise. We are continuing our exploration. Who really knows where we will go, but we know we are going there.