The Mission Mountain Wood Band Phenomenon continues with the release of their extraordinary new Music Collection, Private Stash: the Collector’s Edition. In the words of Music Reviewer, Jamie Kelley, “Private Stash is a visual and musical history of Montana’s favorite band. With five CDs of never-before-released live and studio tracks and a DVD with archival footage of the band’s notable National Performances, (including an ABC Special), as well as modern interviews with each of the band’s members, Private Stash is the definitive collection for Woodheads.”
The collection features an eclectic mixture of original Blue Grass, Rock and Roll and good-time Montana party music that will leave listeners dancing on the tables. The music tracks are a mixture of live performances and studio performances recorded in Greenwich Village in New York City, The Keystone Ballroom in Palo Alto, CA for KFAT Radio, the Baird Studios in Minneapolis, MN and Bitterroot Studios in Missoula, Mt. Since the collection is everything the band had in their archives, it features some rarely heard gems such as “Yellowstone” written by Dick Riddle and recorded by the band for Yellowstone Park in the 70’s, a superb rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, classics such as Next to You Blues, Park Hotel, Golden Rockets and Fountain of Love, as well as four surprising Christmas songs.
Mission Mountain Wood Band has always been known for their stories and humorous repartee, and diehard Wood Band fans will be pleased to find a live concert taped in New York City complete with patter between songs. The collection also includes early Rock and Roll recordings of the Band before they branched out to include Bluegrass and Country in their performance arsenal.
While audiophiles will revel in the 79 new music tracks on the collection, the 75 minute film documentary will take viewers on an unbelievable visual journey through what is undeniably the Rock and Roll/Country Music Renaissance years of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. The documentary includes the band’s numerous National Television performances as well as legendary performances from the Aber Day Kegger, interviews with band members and recent film footage from Flathead Lake reunion concerts. Well-known Helena Attorney and Montana writer, Mark Staples, does a masterful job of writing the script and narrating the documentary while Robbe Lindsey and David Bond of Polar Bear Productions filmed the interviews and the Polson Reunion Concert. Robbe Lindsey, owner of Bear Grass Productions in Missoula, also edited the documentary, which serves not only as a reminder of the raucous, free wheeling outdoor concert scene of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s but will undoubtedly attract a new generation of fans attracted to the bands high octane energy, flawless four part harmonies and superb musicianship.
Mission Mountain Wood Band’s impact on the music industry can best be described by narrator, Mark Staples, “With propulsive guitar, drum, banjo, bass, fiddle and roguish joie de vivre, they blew apart the generation and culture gaps in their audience in Montana and everywhere they went, coalescing us, with their musical and rhythmic bravado, reverence for tradition and irreverence for cliché’, into a vast and enduring tribe of uplifted spirits. It was like radio used to be, creative, surprising, romantic, energizing. Their audiences was as eclectic as their music; bankers, bikers, lawyers, loggers, jocks, artists, hippies, farm kids, Greeks, geeks, professors and dropouts. Mission Mountain hit the stage in a detonation of energy and personality and built a show over the course of the night – in a non stop continuum – from a low boil to a house fire and burnt us all up in the blaze.”
Finally, the ‘frosting on the cake” is the 24 page book included in the collection. The book is full of candid photographs from private band collections as well as performance pictures taken by the Executive Producer of the Collection, Bonni Willows Quist, written contributions by band members, Rob Quist and Christian Johnson; recollections on the early years by band member, Steve Riddle; tributes by fellow musicians, Norton Buffalo, Michael Reilly/Pure Prairie League, Jimmie Fadden/Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, contributions by Monte Dolack, U of M President George Dennison, Eric Smith, Max Agather, and Steve Neely and a touching tribute to former band member, Terry Robinson, written by Montana Poet and MSU Dean, Mary Sheehy Moe. (Terry Robinson was killed with fellow Montana Band Members in a plane crash the 4th of July, 1987). Of special note is the Governor’s Page with tributes written by three former Montana Governors.
Response to Private Stash has been over the top – “Private Stash is a triumph and will bring untold enjoyment and re-energizing to thousands because it is just so dead-on in its ‘mission,’ to reawaken a once-soaring, lately hibernating spirit. It is, in every sense of the word, a gift! Congratulations on an incandescent accomplishment.” Mark (Helena, Mt); “Wow! Ever since we picked up our copy of Private Stash, we haven’t stopped playing it.” Bruce Townsend (Spokane, WA): I received Private Stash two days ago and must say all I’ve done is smile, smile, smile! Peter (New York); “Our best to you all, M2WB, you have touched our family deeply.” Dick and Jane Solberg (Whitefish, Mt).