A sit down with One Leaf Clover

Walking into their rehearsal space, one thing becomes apparent. One Leaf Clover likes what they do. With the temperature in the “studio” hovering about 38 degrees, it is cold.

“Do you guys maybe wanna reschedule this for a warmer day” I ask, hoping that they will see the wisdom in my flatlander ways.

“Hell no” says Jake the drummer, “this is how we do it Montana.”

“Yeah” chimes Kent the songwriter and guitarist, “this is actually pretty warm compared to last time.” Mountain Boogie Rock can’t be stopped by a minor detail like a chilly garage.

I first saw One Leaf Clover perform at The Montana Beer Festival last spring. With fourteen hundred people in attendance, it was a full house at the Fairgrounds. They caught my attention by opening their set with an instrumental version of “Ghost Riders In The Sky”. They then proceeded to drop an hour and a half of original music and topped it all off with a tasty cover of “Standing On The Verge Of Gettin’ It On” by Funkadelic. I was duly impressed. A country classic, and funk standard sandwiching a whole bunch of catchy originals. Why hadn’t I heard of these guys sooner? I went to talk to them after the show and Matt the bassist informed me that although he’d love to chat, they had to load out and hit the old dusty trail. They were also booked to play the after party at The Zebra that night.

Fast forward eight months. I just received a promo copy of their debut album, On Our Own. Recorded locally at Peak Recording and Sound, it is a great sounding album. Fourteen original tracks inspired by life in The Rocky Mountains. From ballads to rock numbers to funk grooves and even an instrumental synth work out known simply as “E Jelly”. This disc has something for everyone. You could buy one for you grandma and one for your fugitive buddy who is holed up on the outskirts of town.

“What is Mountain Boogie Rock”, I ask the guys.

“Well” says Matt, “People would always ask what kind of music we played. After about a year of fumbling through various descriptive terms and musical genres in an attempt to explain our music in words, it came to me one night while driving out to Belgrade. Mountain Boogie Rock – Homegrown In Montana. We are proud to call Montana home and feel that our songs and general attitude are definitely influenced by our big mountains and our Big Sky.” And as for the set list of close to forty originals? Joe the group’s multi-instrumentalist says “Kent writes songs like most people eat lunch. It is something that you do every day and don’t think much about it.”

Listening to them rehearse, it is clear that these guys are passionate about creating original music. Joe bounces between the keyboard, the electric guitar, and the mandolin. He also mentions that he has an accordion that is he is saving for just the right song. Jake closes his eyes and lays down a groove on the drums with a pocket big enough to keep a phone book in. Kent sings and strums with the ease of a true professional as Matt slaps the bass as though it may have said something questionable about his mother.  All in all a very enjoyable sight to behold. I sit and shiver for about an hour as they run through some of their material. They decide it’s break time and I decide I really need a bowl of soup. As I head out, they thank me for showing an interest in their band and it occurs to me that theirs is a sound that personifies Montana. It is much easier for a band to play covers or stick to whatever established genre they place themselves in. What One Leaf Clover is doing is attempting to make something new.

I have really enjoyed getting to know these guys and I would highly encourage you to check out their album. It is available at Cactus Records and Hastings in Bozeman and also directly through their website www.oneleafclovermusic.com. Take some time to enjoy yourself some Mountain Boogie Rock.