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John Darnielle, the singer-songwriter who has performed as The Mountain Goats since the early '90s, plays Mountain Stage for the first time. (Mountain Stage)

The Mountain Goats On Mountain Stage

Dec 18, 2012

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Although he now records with a full band in a studio, John Darnielle made his first recordings through the built-in microphone of a boombox. The prolific songwriter has hundreds of songs to his name, the rarest of which are highly prized among Mountain Goats fans. John Darnielle's songs are often detailed accounts of characters on the fringe of society. His empathy for outcasts seems to stem from his time spent working as a psychiatric nurse. John Darnielle plays with bassist Peter Hughes and drummer Jon Wurster, with whom he's been recording and touring since 2007. The Mountain Goats.

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The North Carolina indie-folk band The Mountain Goats makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in partnership with the Marshall Artists Series. Although frontman John Darnielle occasionally plays solo under the Mountain Goats moniker, the current lineup has operated as a trio since 2007.

Darnielle's first recordings, considered classics by many Mountain Goats fans, were lo-fi and DIY in the truest sense, recorded through a boom box's built-in microphone. Since 2002, however, he's recorded in the studio with a full band. While still living in his native California, Darnielle worked as a psychiatric nurse caring for severely mentally ill patients — an experience that continues to infuse his songs with a unique sense of empathy and insight. With Peter Hughes on bass and Jon Wurster on drums, The Mountain Goats' set draws primarily from the band's new album, Transcendental Youth, though the crowd-pleasing anthem "This Year" also makes an appearance.

The Mountain Goats' set is followed by Mountain Stage pianist Bob Thompson, who performs Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss."

Set List

  • "Lakeside View Apartment Suite"
  • "In Memory Of Satan"
  • "Never Quite Free"
  • "This Year"
  • "Rotten Stinking Mouthpiece"
  • "Amy a.k.a. Spent Gladiator I"
  • "Prelude To A Kiss" (Bob Thompson)


Watch Larry Groce interview John Darnielle backstage at Mountain Stage.

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