The term “energetic” is often used when describing Canadian Country band, South Mountain. It is an acknowledgment of South Mountain’s dynamic and spirited presence during live performances, while exhibiting masterful artistry in traditional country and electric bluegrass. South Mountain is a four piece powerhouse of telecaster guitar, fiddle, bass and drums, in addition to commanding three part vocals. The energy and enjoyment that radiates from South Mountain on stage is undeniable, creating an atmosphere that is entertaining for any seasoned concert goer or first time country music listener.
It is no surprise that the band South Mountain was created in the small town of South Mountain, a rural farming village located outside of Ottawa, Ontario. In the late 80’s, founding member, Steve Piticco, had the vision for an equal opportunity group that consisted of A-list “side persons,” who were at the top of their respective musical game. Steve and Laurie LaPorte-Piticco gathered with heavyweights' Don Reed, Todd Nolan and Bill Carruthers, and the band was formed. Although members of South Mountain have changed through the years, the feel, spirit and mission of the band remains the same: to create good traditional country music. Current members of the group include Steve Piticco, (telecaster guitar, vocals), Kurk Bernard, (bass, vocals), Jay Riehl, (drums, vocals), Don Reed, (fiddle) and Linsey Beckett, (fiddle, step dancing, vocals).
South Mountain’s impressive career has led to many exciting musical opportunities. They have performed with country music icons like Dolly Parton, Don Helms, Highway 101, John Allan Cameron, John Landry, Charlie McCoy, recorded with Merle Haggard and Lee Towers, and have opened for Moe Bandy, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Tammy Wynette, Dan Seals, Marty Stuart, Conway Twitty, Charlie Pride, Kitty Wells, among many more.
South Mountain’s talents have been recognized by their peers, along with musical institutions worldwide. Accolades of South Mountain’s include: Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Vista Rising Star Award and Nominations for CCMA Group of the Year. On the international front, South Mountain has won the Dutch Country Music Association Award (DCMA) for Live Show of the Year, nominated alongside Shania Twain, and the DCMA Award for Band of the Year, nominated in the company of the Dixie Chicks, Mavericks and Alabama.
South Mountain has toured extensively internationally, focusing primarily in Europe and Scandinavia. Some countries include Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. South Mountain is excited to release the dates of their 2016 European tour, and continually seek out new international markets to take their music.
When it comes to playing a Fender Telecaster, Steve Piticco is in a class of his own. The mere mention of Steve’s name among industry peer's bring comments like, "He's from another planet!" or "It should be against the law to play like that!"
The Canadian Country Music Association has recognized Steve's talent with the 1990/91/92/93 “Guitar Player of the Year” awards, in addition to the title of overall "Instrumentalist" in 1985/90 and 1991. Steve has received five "Gram Awards"
for "International Instrumentalist" from the Dutch Country Music Association. Steve continues to be in high demand for live performances, guitar workshops and recording sessions. Keep up to date with Steve at
Traditional Country Music has been waiting for an answer to legends like Buck Owens, George Jones and Faron Young. In today’s age of two-dimensional beer drinkin’ country songs, Kurk Bernard is the answer.
Years of singing around the kitchen table with his dad, Ivan, and Uncle Lionel, enabled Kurk to develop his unique singing style and love for entertaining. In addition to Kurk’s vocals and fronting skills is his bass playing, where he was nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award for Bass Player of the Year. Kurk recently released a solo recording entitled, “Love’s Gonna Live Here.” It has received critical acclaim from numerous music outlets, stating “Kurk's voice was born to sing this kind of amazing music…fiddles and pedal steel join him rocking out to some kickin' tracks and tugging at heart strings on beautiful ballads.” Kurk’s East Coast charisma has had audiences in stitches and he’s not satisfied until there’s “a smile on your face.”
The art of Old Time fiddling is deeply rooted in one of Ontario’s most energetic and entertaining fiddler’s, Linsey Beckett. Linsey, an award winning fiddle player, Ottawa Valley step dancer and vocalist, is best known for her vibrant showmanship and contagious smile. The tradition of fiddling has been passed down through many generations in Linsey’s family. Her love of fiddling and performing emerged from years of playing with her family band, The Beckett Family. Along with Linsey’s brother, Tyler, the duo have competed in many fiddle competitions throughout Canada, and are two time Canadian Duet Fiddle Champions and three time Ontario Duet Champions. At the age of 13, Linsey began touring with the Don Messer Jubilee tribute show, Memories of an Islanders' Jubilee, performing over 200 shows across Canada. In 2009, Linsey joined the international string production, Bowfire. Her involvement in Bowfire led to many exciting opportunities, such as performances with the Houston, Colorado and Calgary Symphonies, Sean Connery’s 80th Birthday celebration in the Bahamas, and on the runway of New York Fashion Week’s Dressed to Kilt. To learn more about Linsey, please visit www.linseybeckett.com.
A love for drumming commenced at the early age of two for Jay Riehl; kickstarting his impressive music and producing career. Jay’s Grandmother, Adela, who was very musical, nurtured Jay’s musical ambitions and encouraged him to expand his musical interests to a multitude of genres. Jay’s impressive percussion playing and vocals are complimented by his vast knowledge of producing, and led to the creation of his successful recording studio in Stratford, Ontario called “The Swamp.” Between making records and touring globally, Jay has worked with Brian Dennehy, Justin Bieber, Tommy Hunter, Steven Page, The Stratford Festival, Discovery Channel, Bravo, Paul Gross, Simon Callow, John Cody Carter, The Creators, djkillers, John Landry, Jim Witter and Farmers Daughter, to name only a few. Jay currently produces everything from jingles, post production, demos to radio friendly records. For more information on Jay, please visit www.jayriehl.com.
Unwavering pitch, masterful tone and the ability to play a flurry of notes with meticulous precision, is a humble testimonial to the brilliant musicianship of Don Reed. Don was raised in a musical family in Sudbury, ON., first learning to play the electric mandolin at the age of four, and switching to the fiddle at age five. While performing in his family band, Don studied classical violin, as well as competed in many Canadian fiddle competitions. Don won the Canadian Open Fiddle Championships for three consecutive years, and quickly became the “first call” session player for record producers throughout North America and Europe. Don's discography is quite extensive and includes artists like Tanya Tucker, Anne Murray, Rita McNeil, Amy Sky, Sylvia Tyson, Ian Tyson, Julian Austin, Jason McCoy, Ron Hynes, Gil Grand, Jake Mathews, Jim Matt, Paul Dunn, Sarah Craig, Prairie Oyster and John Landry. Don also contributed to the phenomenal success of three multi-million selling Dwight Yoakam albums, as well as performed on projects with internationally renowned recording artists’ Jackson Browne and Buck Owens. Even the big session “cats,” like Nashville's Mark O’Connor, know and respect the name and talent of Don Reed.