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LISTEN: Kristen Grainger & True North, “Across the Mountains”

Sep 14, 2023

LISTEN: Kristen Grainger & True North,

Artist: Kristen Grainger & True North
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Song: “Across the Mountains”
Album: Fear of Falling Stars
Release Date: November 10, 2023

In Their Words: “‘Across the Mountains’ started as a banjo riff, a total earworm Dan [Wetzel] kept playing on this five-string, open-back banjo he built. Dan calls it a ‘mountain banjo,’ it’s got a wood ring instead of metal, sounds really organic and cool. He dubbed the tune ‘Across the Mountains,’ a haunting modal progression that just begs for a dark tale to go along with it. So I crafted a melody and lyrics to ride along the currents of the tune, unfolding a story about a woman seeking refuge in the mountains after getting revenge on her cruel and unfaithful lover.

“In true ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ style, she sets the house on fire after he leaves her, then makes a run for it. I love story songs, but traditionally, women who are the subject of a bluegrass tune have not fared well (‘Banks of the Ohio,’ ‘Pretty Polly,’ ‘Knoxville Girl,’ etc. It’s a long and tragic list). At a time when women’s autonomy, even our right to exist, is called into question, we had to ask ourselves why we’d even play those kinds of songs. And we offer ‘Across the Mountains’ –
a woman’s story in a woman’s voice – as a step towards changing the traditional bluegrass narrative.” – Kristen Grainger

Photo Credit: Frank Miller Photography

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LISTEN: Kristen Grainger & True North,
LISTEN: Kristen Grainger & True North,