"Incredible banjo and vocals make this local youngster a treat for the ears."
-Rapid City Journal
"I can say with absolute certainty that I have rarely heard anything quite like the Crazy Mountain Billies... the playing is exceptional from this multi talented multi instrumentalist... all of the elements of Bluegrass, but without being classifiable as being part of that genre..."
Mike Morrison - American Roots UK
"Crazy Mountain Billies are just crazy, man. Crazy ..."
- Portland Weekly Volcano
"The one man Line-up works for his brand of bluegrass; instead of monotonous jamming his songs overflow with real melodies on multiple instruments. His unique vocals also are worthy of praise."
- Big Western Flavor
“… the one-man-band better known as Crazy Mountain Billies, is a force of nature on the banjo!”
Aliyah Sanders - Rapid City Cultural Trends Examiner
Crazy Mountain Billies is the alias used by American multi-instrumental musician and producer A.P. Bormes to describe the sound of a full ensemble created by the solo performer. The C.M.B. style can best be described as alternative bluegrass. The band was founded in the early months of 2009, and shortly thereafter received acclaim as the "Badlands II" album was named in the Top Albums of 2010 by American Roots UK.
All of the C.M.B. material is self-recorded, produced, written, performed, mixed and mastered. The instruments used include: 5 and 6 string banjo, 5 string bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, slide guitar, classical guitar, autoharp, jaw-harp, harmonica, tin whistle, washboard, vibraslap, shakers, cabassa, tambourine etc...
The music is created by pre-recording percussion, bass and other instrument tracks in the studio which are then played back during a performance to back the musician while vocals and lead instruments (most notably banjo,guitar and harmonica) are played simultaneously. The sound is a deviated form of bluegrass which has all of the standard acoustic elements, but refuses to be classified as that genre alone.
One of the earliest songs that led up to the C.M.B. style, "Watson's Rag" was created with a loop pedal and an 8-track plugged into a car power inverter so that it could be recorded while camping in the woods of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Soon after, the musician moved cross country to Hollywood, CA to go to school for Audio Engineering. It was here where he built his first studio and began recording some the material that later developed into the first two albums- a double release: "Don't Move Or I'll Shoot/Badlands" inspired by the rugged terrain and lifestyle of the midwest and Rocky Mountains backcountry.
After a couple years in the city it was time to get back out in the mountains so A.P. Bormes moved to Montana and built a new studio in order to complete the double release in 2009. It was during this time that the band found its name after experiences in the Crazy Mountain range which inspired much of the work. Shortly thereafter ''Badlands II" was recorded and then released August 1, 2010. Then A.P. Bormes went back to South Dakota to record ''Badlands III'' inside a remote log cabin in the Black Hills and released the record April 15, 2011. C.M.B. spent the remainder of the year touring the Western U.S. before going back into the log cabin studio to record the albums: ''Hit Like A Hammer"(released May 31,2012) as well as "Burn Down The Mountain." Several music videos were also released in Oct. 2012. before the musician then moved back to Montana.
Currently, C.M.B. has plans to remix "Burn Down The Mountain" and release it in two formats: an e.p. version as well as a full album version. Another tour is in the near future as well- with countless hours being spent preparing and re-inventing the live performance.
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Created: March 7, 2016, 12:56 a.m.
Last Modified: June 14, 2016, 7:33 p.m.