Mountain of Venus
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Mountain of Venus

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Report From The Tour Trenches: Tanya Shylock- Woman At Work"

In a genre where musical exploration is key, female vocalists seem to have a hard time finding their niche. "It's not that there isn't any room in jam music for us, but I have a feeling most female vocalists want to present themselves differently. It's a weird place to find yourself on a stage when the music is playing, and you're not singing, and you're a singer. For me, I fit very comfortably in that space."
Tanya Shylock is the vivacious lead singer of the five-piece psychedelic rock band Mountain of Venus. The band wows fans with its intricate balance of vocals, jams, and composition. Shylock's lively personality shines through on stage as she engages the audience and manages to add an extra layer of sound and harmony to the band in an atmosphere where singers and lyrics are not normally a focal point. While some vocalists may feel out of their element when not singing, Shylock embraces these moments. "It's not like when someone is soloing and I'm not singing, I'm taking a backseat- I'm still extremely involved in the music. I'm still communicating with the audience even without words. It becomes a very spiritual thing." She adds, "I don't think the vocals carry the jams or vice versa. I think that one without the other wouldn't make this band what it is."
With a packed tour schedule and growing word-of-mouth advertising, MOV is making a name for itself. "I think we knew the potential was there, but I don't think we ever really had a full grasp on how big it could be." And how big can it be? We will see as the band looks to hit the studio and continues to tour relentlessly around the country. - Kelsy Meyer
- Relix Magazine


"Beyond the Verge"

Mountain of Venus is a unique band that manages to fuse past and present in a seamless blend. [MOV]'s sound is a mixture of neo-hippie improvised rock, and infectious soulful rock colored by tasteful instrumental embellishments. In lead vocalist Tanya Shylock, they have one of the best female vocalists of the jamband scene. - the editors of Relix - Relix Magazine


"MOV Reviews (links)"

Mountain of Venus- East To West And Back- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=4689

Cascades & Butterflies (Ted Freed, Florida)- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=5006

Mountain of Venus: First Impression (Ryan Blair, Virginia)- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=4411

Mountain of Venus Tour With Steve Kimock (Ami Heinrich, Oregon)- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=4191

Mountain of Venus Heads West (Janis Lawrence, New York)- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=3283

Mountain of Venus at Cafe Zacquor (Janis Lawrence, New York)- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=3068

A Clear View Of Venus- High Sierra Review (Matt Favreault of WriteHereNow.com, West Coast)- http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=2907 - Jambase.com


"Mountain of Venus- Gaspar's Grotto"

Mountain of Venus is an unavoidable strength in the live music scene. They have the passion to not only craft musical integrity but to inspire dynamic exploration. Mountain of Venus seems to have a knack for creating a musical style that is balanced in its intensity. An intriguing aspect of both shows I saw was when Tanya leaves the band to their jam and mingles with the folk. The remaining quartet creates music that taps at the mind and often moves into transcendental grooves that are a slip-slide of transforming movements. It shows a vast amount of consideration on Tanya's part to realize that she cannot be the center of attention all the time.

Nearing the end of their second set on the first night, Mountain of Venus played one of their new songs. The song is called "Almost Religious" and it has one of the most blindsiding changes I have heard in recent years. Very few bands have the ability to get an entire crowd of people on their feet using a simple change in musical direction but "Almost Religious" does the trick. I would love to explain it further, but I think if best that everyone experience it for him or herself. It was amazing to experience the energy in the room swell to a level I had not anticipated.

Mountain of Venus plays with revolutionary enthusiasm and tact. So often, bands are either lacking in the precision to carry out a multifaceted musical journey or the vocals leaves something to be desired. "Stingray's" beat is flawless and he puts forth some of the best high hat work I have seen in a while. Dave Gesualdo thumps the bass into the spaces in the beat leaving a solid rhythmic core. Mike Pascale weaves his licks in and out of the core of sound while Jim Kost's keys fall in unison with the mood of the song. Tanya Shylock's voice is the cherry on top of the best milkshake in town. The amount of soul that comes from within her is staggering; she is a vibrant vessel of sound. When Mountain of Venus is done, they have satisfied the musical appetite and left a craving for dessert; it's a good thing there are encores.

Jimmy Fest was the first time that I had seen Mountain of Venus. I showed up not knowing what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. I could catalog songs all day long and review the "Steps to Betterment" compared to "Over the Sky." The simple fact of the matter is that the music of Mountain of Venus encompasses all that we hold musically dear to our hearts and I hope to be hearing from them for years to come. -Craig Beatty

- Homegrown Music Network (www.homegrownmusic.net)


"Mountain of Venus at Harper's Ferry"

I was completely knocked out by this adventurous, jam-flavord band. It not only has great original material but reinterprets everything from Black Sabbath to Janis Joplin. This is music purely for the sake of music, sans gimmick and attitude. Singer Tanya Shylock can belt out anything, while guitarist Mike Pascale is formidable. The only sad thing is that Mountain of Venus is moving to Fayetteville, AR... Losing band of this skill is tough, but hopefully they'll play here often. -Steve Morse - Boston Globe


"Mountain of Venus"

Mountain of Venus' strength is in its original compositions. MOV has enough exploratory improvisation to satisfy the spaciest jam fan, alternating melody lines with spiraling, driving rock grooves. It's about how you feel. "If you surrender your expectations, it happens the way it's supposed to," says singer Tanya Shylock. For Mountain of Venus, every night has the potential to be a breakthrough. -Candace Horgan - Denver Post


Discography

Mountain of Venus- recorded '99, released 2000
Live Vol. One- released 2001
Live at Cicero's in St. Louis, 12.10.02- released 2003
Live at the Gothic Theatre, NYE 2002 featuring Steve Kimock- released 2003
PURE HEMP ONE LOVE VOl.1 (Compilation), 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

For more than 6 years, Mountain of Venus has been touring from coast to coast extensively, often playing over 200 shows a year. They bring to the table a refreshing and original twist on a merging of genres, from psychedelic rock and jazz, to Zappa-esque, rhythm-driven funk. They have been likened to a number of familiar bands (ie: Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane), but have thankfully avoided being pigeonholed by any one particular definition. Mountain of Venus prides themselves on being appealing to a wide demographic, more so than many bands considered "popular" by the mainstream. They have set themselves apart from that mainstream by maintaining a deep commitment to sharing an experience with their audience, and expanding their repertoire with original music of depth and substance.

Nomadic by nature, MOV has called a few places home. They were conceived in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Steamboat Springs, CO in the winter of 1999. Shortly thereafter, they outgrew their surroundings and found themselves en route to Boston in search of a wider audience and wealth of opportunity. Quickly, they established a solid foundation of fans and venues, including a residency at the House of Blues in Cambridge, MA, all the while continuing to take their brand of original ethereal music on the road.

It didn't take long for the "powers that be" to take notice. By summer 2000, they had released a self-titled debut album. Soon after, they saw the fruits of their labor manifest in myriad of ways: they were invited to join the Homegrown Music Network; were featured and/or reviewed in a number of national publications (Relix Magazine, Revolving Door Magazine, Glide Magazine, The Boston Globe); were reviewed by online sources for music such as Jambands.com and Jambase.com; and received air-play by numerous radio stations, including a live feature on the Dunham Radio Show in Atlanta, and several in-studio spots on An Honest Tune Radio Show (in affiliation with An Honest Tune Magazine). Their music evolved throughout the years, never becoming stagnant as they consistently found new ways to bring the message of conscious evolution to the fans they gratefully refer to as "the family". And with over 2500 "family members" on their e-mail list alone, they feel they have a lot to be grateful for.

After three years in Boston and on the road they relocated again, this time to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where they found themselves a part of a community of like-minded folks with an exceptional appreciation for good music, and more specifically, the music of Mountain of Venus. Their roots grew in Fayetteville, but this did not slow down the momentum that MOV had created. They have been priveleged to find themselves on the line-up of many prestigious festivals, including High Sierra Music Fest, Berkshire Mountain Music Fest, Smilefest, Harvestfest, Wakarusa, Wormtown, Mannerland, and -new this year- Uphonia. They have shared the stage or collaborated with such acts and artists as Steve Kimock, Garaj Mahal, Railroad Earth, Otiel Burbridge and the Peacemakers (Allman Brothers Band), Mike Gordon (Phish), Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon), Little Feat, David Blackman (a frequent guest of Widespread Panic), David Nelson Band, Umphrees McGee, Rev. Jeff Mosier & Col. Bruce Hampton (Aquarium Rescue Unit), Carlos Washington, Max Creek, Zen Tricksters, Grease Factor, Papa Mali, Psychedelic Breakfast (aka The Breakfast), Perpetual Groove, Moonshine Still, Speakeasy, Bockman's Euphio, Tea Leaf Green, and Barefoot Manner.

Mountain of Venus has always found themselves more at home in the live setting as opposed to the studio, which explains their extensive discography of live releases. They have recently found themselves restructuring the framework of the band, having parted ways with a rhythm guitarist, as well as a keyboard player who came to them from the Steve Kimock Band. If such obstacles are capable of swaying the progress of a successful touring act, these artists have not shown it. They now call Dunedin, FL home, where they continue to hone their craft as a four-piece ensemble, and find themselves still gracefully committed to the task they originally set out to do: to simply make a difference.

As "the family" has said of their collective pre-show experience: "Something Wonderful Is About To Happen..."