MISSOULA – With public transit ridership at an all-time high due to a three-year Zero-fare demonstration project, the Missoula Urban Transportation District (MUTD), the entity that operates Mountain Line, invited Missoula’s favorite band, The Lil’ Smokies to record one of their brand new songs “Winded” during a ride to the historic Wilma Theater. The video is already on its way to being a viral internet sensation, with over 15,000 views in just the first day.
“Having a zero-fare public transportation system, like Mountain Line, is indicative of a city that is looking forward, embracing growth and is community oriented,” said Andy Dunnigan, Smokies’ dobro player and lead singer. “We are incredibly fortunate in Missoula to be furnished with such services, because at the end of the day we are all benefiting from it.”
The Smokies were once again voted Missoula’s Favorite Band by the Missoula Independent and headlined the River City Roots Festival this past August.
“As Green Sponsors of River City Roots Fest, we had a front row seat to the Smokies’ awesome headlining performance,” said Bill Pfeiffer, Community Outreach Coordinator at Mountain Line. “It’s terrific that they’re such big fans of accessible and healthy transportation in our hometown, because we’re big fans of their music, and people all around the country are realizing how talented they are, too.”
With their roots in traditional bluegrass, The Lil’ Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The quintet, from Missoula, MT has been touring to an ever-growing fan base for the past 6 years. The fruits of their labor recently culminated with wins at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Best Band and at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass festival band competition. In 2013, the band also won The Northwest String Summit Band Competition. This five-piece bluegrass ensemble features Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Jake Simpson (fiddle) and Matt Rieger (guitar).
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