Brown Mountain Lights

Brown Mountain Lights


BML is an Americana band bridging pop twang with bluegrass harmonies and classic country.


The Brown Mountain Lights's debut CD was voted as a critics choice for one of the best CDs in 2004 in "No Depression". BML consist of North Carolina music veterans brought together by a passion for the many facets of American roots music. Their repertoire is a carefully-crafted amalgam of styles from bluegrass and honky tonk to blues and twangy pop, consisting primarily of original compositions. The result is a tasty mix of sharp songwriting, three-part harmonies and a classic American musical palette. Jeff Hart and Janet Place contribute the lead vocals and songwriting talents while Greg Bower tosses in "high lonesome" harmonies and the requisite guitar twang.

Their debut CD release, Late Show at the Cave, was recorded live over two nights at the legendary Chapel Hill club, the Cave.

The Independent called Jeff Hart (acoustic guitar, harmonica, bass) one of the "key characters" in the development of The Triangle's alt-country scene and he has been one of its' mainstays for over 15 years with The Hanks, The Ruins and the Panther Branch Boys. He also did a stint with the Two Dollar Pistols and for several years backed up Triangle legend Chris Stamey of the DBs.

Janet Place (acoustic guitar, mandolin and banjo) collected several Washington Area Music Award nominations while a member of the D.C. twang group The Slim Jims. They were described as a seminal band on the early alt-country scene in The Nation’s Capitol by David Goodman in his guide to “Modern Twang”. After moving to the area in 1995 she formed the popabilly roots band, The Kickbacks. Place was referred to as "one of the finest vocalists on the scene today" by Southern & Rockin' Magazine, while the Raleigh News and Observer called her "a cross between Patsy Cline and Etta James". Rick Cornell of the Independent called her the “mighty voiced Place”. She was first runner-up in the 1999 North Carolina Songwriters’ Association songwriting competition.

Greg Bower (electric guitar) provides the third harmony and tasty guitar licks. Greg has played in several NC-based acts.

Miner Gleason plays fiddle with several Triangle bluegrass and jam bands and can play anything from classical to fiddle tunes to electric violin, bringing a very modern sound to the band.

A seminal part of this unit is the rhythm section of Steve Webster on bass and Bryan Sodemann on drum. They are truly the driving force of BML and the nicest guys anyone would want to know.

The Brown Mountain Lights play festival and clubs throughout the Southeast. Recently their CD landed on a desk in Hollywood where the producers of the WB series, Veronic Mars, featured two songs from Late Show at the Cave on one episode of the show. Appropriately the songs appreared in bar scenes!


Long Gravel Road

Written By: Janet Place

Take a last weary walk down the old gravel road
Say a last weary prayer to the one who calls you home

Sister moved to Tennesee
Brother to Alabam
Left me hear to take their place
No future or no Plans
Mamma lived for Sunday morning
Daddy the night before
The only thing to count upon was that we would poor.

Take a last weary walk down the old gravel road
Say a last weary prayer to the one who calls you home

Sold my soul to a textile mill when I was 17
Fingers turned to cotton thread yet burned like carosene.
God went and took my baby child before she had a name
A million tears I cried behind my steel coated shame.


I made my peace with poverty, anger and with blame
Walk the gravel road each day through wind and snow and rain
As my time gets closer I know what is to come
I'll hear my mamma calling and I'll see my little one.



The Brown Mountain Lights, Late Show at the Cave, Bombay records 2004.

The Brown Mountain Lights, "Ghosts of the Old North State" coming summer 2006

Set List

The Brown Mountain Lights play mostly originals by Janet Place or Jeff Hart and this makes up the bulk of our sets. For longer nights, we do mine the genres of classic country and California country rock. BML has been known to perform the Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo in its entirety.