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News

Mountain Heart took a risk about six years years ago, but it was one that paid off—and is still paying dividends.

That risk was adding a keyboard player—who was also the new lead singer (Josh Shilling)—to a band that was previously an all-acoustic one. His background was different than that of the other members of Mountain Heart. At the time, the group had already cemented a reputation as an ace bluegrass / newgrass / country-folk band, and had a strong, loyal following in that camp.

But Shilling's thing was a mix of Southern rock and R&B, with some jazzy accents. "We felt like we had gone as far as we could with what we were doing, and had bumped up against a ceiling with it," says Jim VanCleve, the group's fiddle player and a founding member. "We also wanted to reach beyond the bluegrass / newgrass audience—and take our music to more people."

It worked. The group's first disc with Shilling was a high-octane live album, "The Road That Never Ends," that they recorded at The Ark in 2007. Mountain Heart—who come back to The Ark for a show on Friday—had always been known for high-energy shows, but Shilling's more rocking impulses took that to another level, and the album was not only a big hit among their existing fans, but also validated the group's prediction by drawing new fans into the fold.

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Credit: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/mountain-heart-1/

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