"This bands ruminating respect for music of the past, and deep dedication towards the creative crafting of a new sound, sets Tenth Mountain Division apart in the Colorado music scene. Tenth Mountain Division speaks the language of Colorado, the language of the mountains.” (Noah Stein - CU Independent) Originating from Boulder, CO, founders Winston Heuga (Mandolin) and MJ Ouimette (Electric/Acoustic Guitar) originally sought to create an acoustic bluegrass outfit. After a few years dedicated to playing bluegrass, the duo transitioned to an electrified, rock’n’roll sound. Through out its preliminary years finding their roots in college and playing with an array of different line-ups, the band finally found their permanent line up in May of 2017 with the addition of bassist and vocalist Andrew Cooney. Drummer Tyler Gwynn and the ever-talented keyboard player Campbell Thomas form the quintet that creates a diverse soundscape combining soaring electric guitar leads and jabbing keys while retaining its roots in bluegrass with Heuga’s incomparable mandolin style. The rhythmic interplay of Cooney's driving bass fused with Gwynn’s incendiary drumming round out the unique sounding band that is truly a style of its own; what the band refers to as "Ski Rock". Tenth Mountain Division has evolved greatly since its inception but retains its roots in the American musical styles of rock, Americana, bluegrass, prog and the crossroads between them all. Since TMD’s first national tour upon earning a slot at the 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival with headlining acts like Tom Petty’s Mud Crutch, Moe, and Umphrey’s Mcgee, the band has embarked all across this country playing esteemed venues like Boulder's Fox Theater, Baton Rouge's Varsity Theatre, Austin's The Parish, Nashville's Acme Feed & Seed, Baltimore's 8X10, and many more; The band has played festivals including Summer Camp, Beanstalk, Head for the Hills, Pardee Palooza and after parties for the likes of Dead & Company, Twiddle, STS9, Moon Taxi, and Marcus King Band; and have had the honor of sharing the stage with artists including Nicki Bluhm, Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band/ Bela Fleck), Bill Payne (Little Feet), Jeff Austin ( Yonder Mountain String Band), Jeremy Garret ( Infamous String Dusters), Andy Thorn and Alwyn Robinson (Leftover Salmon), Jon Stickley Trio, and contemporaries such as The Magic Beans and Spafford. This is only the beginning, stay tuned for all that’s to come!
Boulder, CO native Campbell Thomas is the keystone powerhouse of TMD that anchors the group musically while stretching the reach of the chain. Classically trained on the piano and percussion throughout the duration of his childhood, Thomas merged the two disciplines to create a uniquely rhythmic style of playing that is the pillar’s on the foundation. Above all, his vocals are equally captivating if not more so and truly rattle the senses when on the mic. Thomas joined TMD in a soft autumn morning when he saw the silhouettes of four out-of-shape yet distinguished individuals approaching; it was at that moment that a lifetime friendship and musical bond was born!
Andrew Cooney began his musical voyage in his hometown of Chicago, Il. His musical interest was sparked at a young age from his grandparents who were jazz musicians in their time. During his teen and college years, he played with multiple bands ranging from rock to jazz to doo-wop ensembles. After getting his undergraduate in music management at Indiana University, he made his way to Los Angeles to pursue his musical career. There he went through the grit and the grind of the L.A. music industry. He wrote and produced songs, played with other bands and played guitar for a Motown singer-songwriter at Motown Records. After a few years building his musical repertoire in the west coast, he flew out to Denver where he met the Tenth Mountain Division guys and instantly a relationship was kindled. His musical expertise in both the business and theory has helped augment TMD's sound, especially in his slick bass lines and caramel-smooth vocals.
Tyler Gwynn, a Cape Cod, MA native, started playing the drums at the age of 5 when his parents bought him his first drum set. He started playing live at the age of 8. This continued through high school where he played shows locally and throughout New England. Tyler moved to Boulder in 2012 to study at CU Boulder and joined TMD in the winter of 2013, almost getting them all a noise violation at their first practice together. Gwynn’s unique drumming style sparked the bands transformation from a bluegrass trio into an electric rock band. Although the band still holds deep roots with bluegrass music the addition of Gwynn’s drums added and remains the driving force behind TMD’s music and continues to push the band to new and unique sounds.
As long as he can remember MJ Ouimette has been drawn to music as a fan, musician and writer. Although he began his music training on drums at age 10, the guitar became his dominant and favored instrument shortly thereafter. After years of playing with multiple friends and his father he honed in his attacking yet measured lead guitar sound that fuses bluegrass flatpicking and chromatic improvisation. From ages 12-17 he hosted his own radio program on the local community radio station in his hometown of Vail, CO, Radio Free Minturn. In high school Ouimette met band mate and co-founder of TMD Winston Heuga and began penning what would become the first TMD originals. Ouimette has been an integral orchestrator of the group’s distinct elements into the cohesive whole that you hear today. Ouimette says the band is his life’s passion for music realized and wouldn’t be possible without the members of the band that he considers his best friends.
Hailing from Edwards, Colorado, self-taught mandolinist Winston Heuga began playing when he was sixteen, learning to play by way of jamming with friends and experimenting with progressive bluegrass music. Although he and his future collaborator Ouimette didn’t hit it off immediately, the two struck a chord when they began playing together in high school. Ouimette recalls thinking that he was “too pretty for rock’n’roll.” Their musical relationship formed from performing covers as a bluegrass duo at open mics and coffee shops in the area until they began writing their own songs. When Heuga’s talent for writing lyrics and Ouimette’s ear for musical arrangements intersected the birth of TMD was imminent. Since the development of the bands electrified sound Heuga has taken a less traditional approach to his instrument, unifying an acoustic instrument with the bands classic rock sound. Throughout the progression of TMD, the mandolin has taken the role of the rhythm guitar and helped morph the bands evolving genre.