Emmy-nominated short film series The Montana Sessions is back for a third season featuring live performances in scenic locations throughout the state of Montana by The Lucky Valentines, Kitchen Dwellers, Kevin Van Dort, and Matt Wallin & His Nervous Breakdown.
Episodes three and four of The Montana Sessions season three feature Bozeman-based “galaxy grass” quartet Kitchen Dwellers performing in the heart of Paradise Valley.
Paradise Valley is a major river valley of the Yellowstone River in Southwestern Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park. Named after the Paradise Valley Creek, which runs through the valley and is surrounded by the Absaroka-Beartooth range to the east and the Gallatin mountain ranges to the west, the stunning expanse of natural beauty is known for its rolling hills, lush forests, and crystal-clear streams, making it a popular destination for nature-lovers from around the world.
In addition to ample opportunities for hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing, the Yellowstone River and its tributaries offer some of the world’s best trout fishing locations. Visitors can also head out on scenic drives to explore breathtaking vistas and visit an array of historic sites like the charming town of Emigrant and cultural attractions like Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa. For more information about visiting Paradise Valley, head here.
Kitchen Dwellers, the Bozeman-native bluegrass pickers known far and wide for their thrilling blend of bluegrass instrumentation and themes, rock and roll energy, and jam band sensibilities, have spent the last several years making a name for themselves on a national scale. Their latest album, the Cory Wong-produced Wise River, delves into the complex emotions inherent to the band’s Montana-grown ethos, examining hyper-local emotions and struggles within the context of their home state’s imposing natural grandiosity.
For their first of two performances on The Montana Sessions season three, Kitchen Dwellers set up shop in a lush, green field in the heart of Paradise Valley for a fitting rendition of the Wise River track named for this very setting, “Paradise Valley”. As cameras pan across the breathtaking expanses beyond the band, banjo player/vocalist Torrin Daniels leads the outfit through the defiant bluegrass outlaw tune.
The weight of the performance seems to grow heavier and more resonant with each pass through the chorus as Daniels sings, “You won’t ever see me diggin’ for my Paradise / And as I walk through this valley, oh I’ll make no compromise / In this state of mind.” Of course, this band has made a name for itself with the stellar musicianship of its members as much as with its thoughtful songwriting, and Shawn Swain (mandolin), Joe Funk (upright bass), and Max Davies (acoustic guitar) all get their own chances to shine as the band passes brief but potent solos around the horn.
For their second performance on The Montanna Sessions, Kitchen Dwellers are back out in the field for another standout Wise River track, “Bottom Shelf”. As Daniels lays out the tragedies that have befallen him and threatened to put him in the broken ground, the bucolic backdrop emphasizes the restorative quality of nature on wounds of the heart. Though the journey has no doubt taken its toll on his spirit, but like the mountains rising up behind him he stands in defiance of whatever forces seek to lay him down.
Watch the third and fourth episodes of The Montana Sessions season three featuring Kitchen Dwellers performing “Paradise Valley” and “Bottom Shelf” in Paradise Valley below. Revisit episodes one and two featuring The Lucky Valentines here. New episodes of The Montana Sessions will debut twice per week throughout April and into May via the 4:08 Productions YouTube page and Live For Live Music.
For more on Kitchen Dwellers, check out Live For Live Music‘s recent interview with Torrin Daniels about growing up with jam bands and the evolution of contemporary bluegrass styles here.
The Montana Sessions Season 3, Episode 3 – Kitchen Dwellers – “Paradise Valley” – Live from Paradise Valley
The Montana Sessions Season 3, Episode 4 – Kitchen Dwellers – “Bottom Shelf” – Live from Paradise Valley
Produced by Los Angeles- and Bozeman-based production company 4:08 Productions, The Montana Sessions highlights the great state of Montana by showcasing unique performances by its best and brightest musical talents in some of its most stunning outdoor locales. The series was made possible by a grant from The Greater Montana Foundation with additional support from The Montana Arts Council and Live For Live Music.
The Montana Sessions is directed by Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and 4:08 Productions founder Nic Davis. He made his feature film debut in 2021 with his Enormous: The Gorge Story, the star-studded documentary about beloved George, WA amphitheater The Gorge. He has released two more feature films since the beginning of this year, Ivan Doig: Landscapes of a Western Mind, about Montana author Ivan Doig, and 21 Miles, about the local societal ripples caused by Malibu, CA’s Pacific Coast Highway.
For more information on The Montana Sessions season three, head here. Watch the official season three trailer below.
The Montana Sessions – Season 3 Trailer
[Video: 4:08 Productions]