Not only can DR Jon fix teeth but he can also play the guitar and write great lyrics for listening pleasure. Drawing inspiration from cowboy singers DR. Jon, the principal member of the Americana group Mountain Town, picked up the guitar during his early stage.
in a recent interview with mountain town, we made a few interesting discoveries and we would like to share them to you guys to also get to know mountain town better
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What is your stage name and is there a story behind your stage
name? Dr. Jon – Of course it fits because I’m a dentist, but I got the nickname when I worked on the Indian Reservation with licensed dentists – me being the only one still in school (working under supervision). So I wasn’t Dr. INSERT LAST NAME, I was “Dr. Jon”
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Formative. Always loved folk and blues since when I was a child.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yes and no, my parents don’t really play or sing but they appreciate the arts and paid for private music lessons at a young age. I found out recently that my grandfather played in a band in southern France and Northern Spain after World War II.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
Frank Zappa. It’s a dark and brutal business and I have always felt like if Frank could find a place – then I can too.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Combination of formal and self-taught. As an entertainer, you’ll see pieces of my favorites in there as I dance around.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Blood Sweat and Tears in the ’80s.
How could you describe your music?
Describe your creative process.
I write all of our material and decide the instrumentation for it as well if it’s going to be a label release or a self-published work. I start with the lyrics and theme and then add the background to it bit by bit. Sometimes I write with a guitar, sometimes a banjo.
What is your main inspiration?
The stories of the thousands of dental patients I’ve seen as well as just living in a really neat little town (Park City, Utah…the namesake for the band name Mountain Town)
What musician do you admire most and why?
Marty Stuart is a favorite of mine that is not often talked about. Very professional, a fantastic entertainer, and a man who passionately loves music.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Mountain Town isn’t that old of a group but I’ll say this….musicians often start out focusing on the song rather than the performance. As you gain skill, they become the same thing and the best performers nail the musical side of what they do almost like it’s a second thought.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
Todd Snider (just kidding). I’m such a local act that we’re able to keep out of others’ crosshairs very easily and take a supportive role. If I lose a booking to a bigger act – that’s okay. If I beat someone out and I can help them get booked somewhere else – I’ll do it.
What are your interests outside of music?
Skiing, Cycling, and of course Dentistry.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Fixing Bikes and Teeth.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
The switch from owners booking acts to using booking agents. It is another door to have to get through to play at our favorite venues.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Getting better royalties from streaming services (they are the new radio stations after all).
What are your plans for the coming months?
Summer Tour is in 2 weeks, then it’s back in the studio until Thanksgiving.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
Why yes, the lovely and talented Alicia Stockman is going to sing on my next single (produced by The Animal Farm) called ‘Let Your Heart Decide’. It’s going to be his and hers country ballad type about the girl trying to get the hard-headed guy to come around….never gets old, does it?
What message would you like to give to your fans?
If you like Americana Music, give us a listen. Some of our work is rather polished, other is quite raw. Our songs are all stories and lyrics are very important to us. The tales come from very diverse backgrounds of people that make up a small town with its roots in silver Mining. Park City has very few born and raised people….most people have migrated here for one reason or another – come figure out some of those in our material. Our sound has been called “Guy Clark meets Chris Isaak” and is generally very relaxing to listen to.