Written by Dana Turvey
The Mission Mountain Wood Band will play a long-awaited return to Tahoe on Friday, Nov. 27 – the night after Thanksgiving. Booked into the Harrah’s-Tahoe South Shore Room, MMWB will once again charm the crowd with their inimitable blend of bluegrass, rock, country and whatever else the band may blend in that night.
In their old days of touring, the boys from Mission Mountain covered the country many times, traveling to over 300 gigs each year. In the decade they were originally together, the band opened for The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffet and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to list just a few.
Mission Mountain Wood Band currently consists of four original band members, who met circa 1970 while at the University of Montana. Rob Quist is on guitar and banjo, Greg Reichenberg is the longtime drummer, Steve Riddle plays bass and Christian Johnson is the multi-instrument wiz – switching deftly and often from electric guitar, mandolin and fiddle. In 1987, the fifth original player – Terry Robinson – was killed in a plane crash with his then-current group, The Montana Band.
Lately, his place on stage-left has been filled by another Montanan, singer/songwriter, Tim Ryan. Of his current gig with MMWB, Ryan says, “Right now, people want to go to live shows. After a Mission Mountain concert, you’ll hear people say ‘That was a great evening, and you know what? Those guys entertained me.’ Many acts now, if they lost power – no video, no lights – it’d be over. Mission Mountain can handle any venue there is – they are master performers.”
Ryan, who has penned songs for many top Nashville acts, has written four new tunes that Mission Mountain has been adding to their line-up. But, as Rob Quist points out, “Songs that will probably never leave our set list are Mountain Standard Time, Sweet Maria and Take a Whiff On Me.”
For a group who has always ‘considered the audience the sixth member of our band,’ check them out personally – the show is Nov. 27 at 7:30pm, Harrah’s South Shore Room. Tickets are $25. 800-786-8208