Elling Lien talks to Jon Janes, aka The Mountain and the Trees.
Pasadena’s Jon Janes is not a large person, but he’s often mistaken for a group.
Performing acoustic folk tunes with a group, or—quite often—solo, he goes by the name The Mountains and the Trees.
“When I first started traveling here, I would come to town and the name on the bill would be ‘The Mountain and The Trees’ I would show up on stage with my blue Strat and play solo with some harmonica,” he laughs.
“And no matter where I’d go, if I played alone, somebody would always ask, “Are you the Mountain, or the Trees?”
On Saturday, August 18, Janes will be celebrating one year of public performance under the name.
The first show fell exactly one year ago from that date–a Friday evening show at Peace-A-Chord 2006. Dan Gervais was to play harmonica and guitar, and Janes was on banjo, harmonica, guitar, and voice. They had prepared a five-song acoustic set, and came to the Masonic Temple with instruments ready to go.
When they arrived, it was a bit of a shock. Turns out they were squeezed into a slot smack between local hardcore punk bands Profession: Ill and The Ridiculice.
“All the hardcore punk kids were there, shouting and really excited,” he says. “And we were just like, ‘oh, nuts.’”
When it came time to set up and the correct mic arrangement wasn’t possible, their first show seemed totally up in the air.
“Then I was like, ‘You know what? We’re just going to go out on the steps and play. We don’t need the mics…’” Janes says. “So we just went out, opened up our cases and started to play. And everyone stuck around outside for the entire time.”
After that, guest speaker Jim Fidler gave a brief talk, and then it was back to the punk rock inside.
“It was a pretty memorable first time playing,” Janes says.
This one-year anniversary on August 18 at CBTGs will be less confusing, but probably just as memorable a show as the first. The Mountains and the Trees will be Dave Rowe on upright and Curtis Andrews on drums.
They’ll be sharing a stage with folk rock solo artist Jill Staveley of Peterborough, Ontario, as well as Jody Richardson and The Sean Panting Band.