Masontown brings Colorado jamgrass to Montana

Band founded by Bozeman fiddle champ hits five Montana towns in August

New & Notable

Masontown, the Colorado-based bluegrass band known for its innovative style, hits The Myrna Loy stage in Helena Thursday, Aug. 1, then heads to Great Falls Aug. 2, Billings Aug. 6, Bozeman Aug. 7, Emigrant Aug. 8, and Missoula Aug. 11.

Masontown was founded in 2015 by Bozeman native Natalie Padilla, a lauded fiddle champion and trained classical violinist. The band took runner-up at the acclaimed RockyGrass band competition a year later.

They released a debut EP in late 2015 and a full-length album, In This Time, in 2017. Now they’re known for putting out some of the most exciting sounds in acoustic music.

Expect to hear traditional bluegrass and some fast, old timey “barn-burners,” says Padilla of their concerts, as well as originals and some jazz-influenced and folk-infused tunes.

Also on tap are some new Masontown songs and tunes from Padilla’s newest album, Fireweed, due out in September.

“It’s a pretty fun show we put on with lots of variety,” she says. “There’s a little bit of something for everyone. I’m just so lucky to play with these incredible musicians.”

The Colorado acoustic band also features Mike Canney, a veteran bluegrass mandolin player and composer; Eric Wiggs, one of Colorado’s jazz guitar greats, reborn as a flatpicking sensation; Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose, a versatile and innovative five-string and clawhammer banjoist; and Bradley Morse, an upright bassist with roots running deep in the classical and jazz traditions.

Their music has been charming both audiences and reviewers.

Glide Magazine calls Masontown “a band on the move, driven to delight the ears, touch the hearts, and move the feet of generations of music lovers in Colorado and far beyond.”

Bluegrass Unlimited writes, “this is good, well-played, highly varied music that throws a curve at each change of the tracks.”

Masontown on Tour

Helena: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Myrna Loy Center; tickets are $22/$18 students and are available at, the box office at 15 N. Ewing St. or by calling 406-443-0287.

Great Falls: 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Celtic Cowboy (406-952-0393)

Billings: 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at Cisel Recital Hall on the campus of MSU Billings; tickets $20 at the door.

Bozeman: 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Story Mansion, featuring pre-show informal set of Gypsy jazz at 6:30, featuring members of Masontown and Montana Manouche (Bozeman). Tickets are $23-$25; find them online at or call Cactus Records, 406-587-0245.

Emigrant: 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ (free).

Missoula: 5 p.m. Aug. 11 at Longstaff House; $20 suggested donation (406-239-0802)

The band also performs in Victor, Idaho, Aug. 3 during the Fins and Fiddles Music Fest.