Mount Righteous Dispatches From The Road: Night One, Working In The New Members

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We first fell in love with Mount Righteous after the band wowed us with their performance at Good Records' eight birthday bash. Since then, we've taken in their debut disc, When The Music Starts, and we've interviewed 10 of the band's 11 members for an upcoming story on the disc's release--which won't officially take place until after the band returns from it's 13-day tour. In the meantime, band member Justin Spike (guitar, accordion, vocals) has agreed to document the band's tour with a daily tour diary exclusive to DC9. Enjoy.

We descended on the town of Abilene with a few loyal fans from home following us, not quite ready to see the last of us, I suppose.

But by the time we pulled into town in the afternoon, we found ourselves with a few hours to kill before we played. So we tried our best to entertain ourselves.

From what I’ve always known of Abilene, it’s a staunchly conservative, highly dogmatic West Texas town that contains two of the largest Christian universities in the country. Not exactly where the party’s at. With this in mind we dispersed around the modest downtown area and didn’t find much but a stuffy art gallery party with free crackers, fruit and wine. Leave it to artists to sniff each other out when the chips are down. Or maybe it was the wine.

Monk’s, the coffee shop we were playing at, surprised us at their hospitality. As soon as we walked in, they gave us plenty of coffee, ordered us food, and asked if we’d be interested in them buying us “a couple 30 packs of Bud.” Naturally, we were very interested and thanked them profusely for their generosity.

Joey and I opened the show with solo sets and then Mount Righteous performed the first set of its tour. It also happened to be the first show we performed with two brand new members, Adam and Nicole. Prior to our departure, our friends and bandmates Ashley and Amber decided they’d not be continuing their involvement in Mount Righteous. This came as a devastating revelation to the band because we’d been working so hard for so long, and now we were crippled for our tour—with very little time to come up with a solution.

Despite our disappointment and disbelief over the members gone AWOL, we scrambled to find replacements and had to look no further than our good friends Adam and Nicole. Derek Terry, one of our guitarists, and Kendall Smith, our bell player, spent hours in intense cram sessions in the days before we left for tour preparing Adam and Nicole for their new roles in the band. Abilene would be the show where we’d see just how weakened we’d been by the loss of two of our biggest voices.

What we found is that we haven’t skipped a beat and the two new members have slipped into their niches flawlessly. Granted, the loss of Amber and Ashley leaves some big bras to fill. But Adam and Nicole, fearless and eager, really impressed us and the crowd last night. There was a great turnout and everyone was really cool to us.

A prevailing attitude seemed to be that we were the only good music to come through Abilene in forever.

We were sorry to hear that, but glad to bring some joy out here.

After the show, a couple of the fans that followed us from home found a puppy in an alley behind the venue and decided to take her and find her a home. We convoyed to the house of a friend of a friend and all slept on his floor, the rescued mutt in our charge.

Mount Righteous. Bringin’ the noise. Singing loud. Saving puppies. --Justin Spike and the rest of Mount Righteous

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