When The Ratlum Mountain Boys showcased their high-energy, bluegrass inspired music at Ski Sundown last weekend it was both a reunion and a first.
Sean and Conor McAlindin and Anthony Daniels, all Canton High School graduates, grew up in the shadow of the mountain and spent years playing music together.
While Daniels and the McAlindin brothers now live on opposite coasts, their honed musical chops, years playing together and one quick practice resulted in a high-energy gig on Dec. 28. As much as they'd played together, members said it was their first public performance together.
Family, friends and music fans came out in force, numbering more than 200. Response was so good, the show was moved from the Last Chair Tavern to the main ski lodge.
“It’s pretty cool to see people come out,” said Sean McAlindin. “We thought that it came together really well.”
Daniels was also overwhelmed with the response.
“I don’t think anyone expected the turnout,” he said. “We’re all pretty excited about it.”
While they all play various instruments, the show featured Daniels on guitar, Sean McAlindin on banjo and Conor McAlindin on mandolin. Andrew Decker, local music-store owner and another Canton High School graduate, joined them on upright bass for most of the show.
The band played many originals, mixed in with old and new bluegrass classics and jam and folk oriented music like "Friend of the Devil" and "White Freightliner."
Rooted in tradition the music's energy was reminiscent of modern revivalists like Old Crow Medicine Show.
The McAlindin brothers are now living in California where Sean works for Adventure Risk Challenge and Conor in Real Estate.
Sean McAlindin has recorded an album and works on many projects with his brother.
An environmental scientist, Daniels lives in New York City and is active musically, often gigging in the evening. He is also working on an EP for release early next year.
All three grew up active in the outdoors – at Ski Sundown, camping in the woods and playing on the river. The name of their musical collaboration came naturally.
“It just fell into suit,” Daniels said. “It happened pretty organically.”
While schedules prevent all three from being in the area at the same time all that often, Sean McAlindin said he definitely hopes to plan some more gigs.
In the meantime, there’s plenty of opportunity to hear or purchase music by these Canton High graduates. Those include: