Yonder Mountain String Band
January 30, 2013
Set 1:Â Sidewalk Stars -> Ain’t Been Myself In Years, Maid Of The Canyon, Near Me, Redbird, One More, Only A Northern Song, Things You’re Selling, Romance Blues, Blue Collar Blues, Angel -> Boatman
Set 2:Â Troubled Mind -> 20 Eyes -> Troubled Mind, Southbound, Winds Of Wyoming, Corona, My Gal -> Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie, Jail Song, Sometimes I’ve Won, Midwest Gospel Radio -> Ten -> Cuckoo’s Nest -> Ten
Encore:Â Walkin Shoes, Southern Flavor
Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show byÂ Brad Kuntzâ€¦
It’s hard to picture a more fitting setting for a Bluegrass and Americana festival than the rolling peaks and valleys of the Ozark Mountain chain in Arkansas, or a better band to host it all than the Yonder Mountain String Band. With a lineup of stellar acts ranging from the legendary Peter Rowan and Bela Fleck, contemporary explorers Cornmeal and Greensky Bluegrass to the rabble rousing bands like Split Lip Rayfield or Dirtfoot, a varied crop of acts were laid out on the musical table at Yonder Mountain String Band’s Mulberry Mountain Harvest Festival.
Yonder’s hosting the festival went as far beyond simply lending their name to the proceedings as is humanly possible. By inviting some supremely talented friends to the party and filtering out onto the festival grounds, these hosts were as hospitable as one could fathom and managed to spread the feeling of boundless togetherness through their simple love of playing music.
One of the Mulberry Mountain Harvest Festivals true hallmarks were the sit ins, with violinist Darol Anger proving to be the leader in the weekend’s stag hopping. Not only did Anger guest with YMSB for all three of their headlining sets, but played with his frequent partner Scott Law, joined former pupil Bridget Law (no relation) as she played with her band Elephant Revival, got into a fiddle duel and round robin with Jason Carter during the Travellin’ McCourys’ set and was never anywhere without his fiddle.
Superstars like Bela Fleck, who performed with his Flecktones that welcomed Howard Levy back to piano duties, led informative workshops that were packed front to back with aficionados and musicians alike — all eager to learn. Then there were workshops that degenerated into pure parties, as was the case when Cornmeal and Greensky Bluegrass got together for classic rock cover showcase that ended with everyone in the tent rising to their feet and dancing to the crazy configuration of the complete double band blend.
Performers actually walked the festival grounds, joining free playing buskers and campground jams with the same reverence as any onstage show. The sense that the musicians were there for the show as much as anyone in the crowd was embodied by Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon, Great American Taxi), who jumped off stage to join the crowd to watch the proceedings from the crowd.
The crowd was appreciative of all Â of the “once in a lifetime music” Â that they were witnessing and the buzz throughout the weekend was speculation and wonderment in regards to which player would sit it with whom and where he/she would do so.
Fans enjoyed close camping and picture perfect weather, with blue skies stretching beyond the horizon during the day, and a haunting moon in the sky reflecting not just light but love down on all below it’s luminescence.
The grounds were as alive after the official music stopped as they were during any point in the day, with campfire jams sprouting up all around. You could hear wandering musicians picking, fiddling and drumming in the distance, adding to the musically connected vibe that defined the weekend.
Most amazing of all, if you listened close enough, you could hear the strolling players meet up, and listen as they joined each other. Whole bands that would have to be billed as super groups on any official line up were born, shone brighter than any sun and then faded away as they players once again drifted in search of the next sound.
The festival promoters are to be congratulated on the stroke of brilliance that was bringing in the Yonder Mountain String Band to host the party. More than just their plethora of friends who were eager to join them, beyond their ticket selling cache and their stellar talents, the guys from Yonder are great people. Their joy is so evident when they play that you don’t want the show to stop more for their benefit more than your own. You simply want them to be able to keep enjoying themselves. Banjo player Dave Johnston alternates from intense focus to the widest grins you’ve seen, while Adam Aijala’s legendary focus seems to transcend simple attention and move into a blissful realm of pure group synergy. Ben Kaufmann lays the bass with the confidence of a man fit perfectly in a role. Front man and mandolin troubadour Jeff Austin contorts his face like a child with a fresh ball of silly putty.
Joined by Darol Anger for all three of their sets, Yonder welcomed any and all to their stage, from an amazing sit in for “Fire on the Mountain” by legendary Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann to the entire Flecktones band. It seemed as though if you played an instrument and had it handy, you were welcome on the stage.
Picking parties turned into cacophonous rising moments of distilled energy Â before the band departed the stage and promising to return next year.
They appeared exhausted, smiling and proud; having spent every last drop of their musical fuel onstage and inÂ so doing, providing a pure example of what a festival should be about:Â celebration of music and camaraderie for one and all.
Yonder Mountain String Band The Vogue Indianapolis, IN November 8, 2011
The line of concert attendees that stretched outside of the Vogue and down the avenue on a Tuesday night in Broad Ripple, Indiana was to be expected for the progressive jamgrass boys of Yonder Mountain String Band.Â As the excited throng of gatherers made their way into the venue, the anxious energy was in the air… all expecting a night that they hoped would be filled with the splendid notes and gracious expansive jams that they have come to expect from the Nederland natives. In short, none would leave disappointed.
As the band members took the stage, Jeff Austin, the resident headbanging mandolin player, gave the crowd a hearty hello and rhetorically asked if folks were ready. The hoots, howls, and screamed yells “of yes,” hell yeah,” and the like hopefully gave him the answer he was seeking.
Within a few tinkles of acoustic strings being tuned, banjo player, Dave Johnston broke out in the opening rolls of â€œKeep On Goinâ€ as Austinâ€™s vocals warmed and found their way into tune and stand up bass player Ben Kaufmannâ€™s enthusiasm could be felt as the clacking of his slap-style solo ripped through the Vogue. And this was just the beginning.
As the evening progressed, Adam Aijala’s presence was ever felt as this musically non-competitive band functioned as a unit, with the crowd as an ever-present fifth member.
It was a night of Yonder goodness and one that is made at seemingly every stop for these fine lads known as Yonder Mountain String Band make their way from city to city, night after glorious night.
I: Keep on Goin, Sidewalk Stars, Keep On Goin, Kentucky Mandolin, Fingerprint, Country Boy Rock and Roll, Pride of Alabama, 40 Miles From Denver, Pockets, And Your Bird Can Sing, Ruby II: Casualty, Ragdoll, Ripcord Blues, Pretty Daughter, On The Run, East Nashville Easter, On The Run, Idaho, Angel, Snow On The Pines, Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie, Snow On Â The Pines Encore: Holdin, Sideshow Blues
Click here to download an audience recording of this show.
Use the widget below the photos to preview or download soundboard recordings from the show.
Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Amber Jennings…
A few weeks ago, Yonder Mountain String Band hosted Harvest Festival on Mulberry Mountain. For the second year in a row, the event bore name of the Nederland, CO native quartet. Just in case anyone was in doubt of the outfit’s worthiness to such acclaim, Yonder proved it beyond any expectations byÂ sitting in with more bands than it would be prudent to name while also performing two three hour sets of their own. In short, to say that Jeff Austin, Adam Aijala, Ben Kauffman and Dave Johnston “had a busy weekend” would be quite the understatement.
In spite of their schedule, the four guys took time to sit down with Rex Thomson for an extended interview — to be released soon — and this, an acoustic serving of the Grateful Dead’s “They Love Each Other.” So sit back, relax, listen, watch and enjoy as Honest Tune exclusively presents Yonder Mountain String Band: Live, Backstage and Unplugged.
On a recent Wednesday evening at the recently renovated Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia, Yonder Mountain String Band broke out their bluegrass instruments for what would unfold as a characteristically strong show for the Nederland, CO natives.
A note on the Georgia Theatre â€“ this beloved, historic venue reopened its doors in August after a June, 2009 fire gutted the building. The Theatre has since hosted acts such as Drive-By Truckers, Big Boi, Lucinda Williams, and Widespread Panic.
Yonder, who last played Athens in 2008, opened with â€œYears With Rose,â€ a lively tour favorite led by the ever-animated Jeff Austin, mandolin player and facial expressionist extraordinaire.Â As the show progressed, the spotlight shone equally upon the members of the progressive bluegrass quartet through the vivacious â€œBolton Stretchâ€ and a strapping â€œPaul and Silas.â€
Slowing things down a bit with â€œFatherâ€™s Arms,â€ the band exhibited their ability to harmonize in a more traditional bluegrass sense, reinvigorating the crowd with a four-song, set-closing double meat sandwich: Â â€œNew Horizons > Criminal > Ob La Di, Ob La Da > New Horizons;â€ The Beatles cover was perfectly placed and left the crowd hungry.
The second set opened with a lot of energy as the band started into â€œWinds of Wyoming,â€ a crowd favorite that has been in consistent rotation for Yonder since it debuted on 2003â€™s Old Hands. Next up was a delicious cover of Frank Zappaâ€™s â€œI am the Slime,â€ providing a perfect contrast to its predecessor.
Highlighted by Adam Aijala’s guitar prowess on â€œRoughneck Bluesâ€ and an enthusiastic and well-received â€œTo Be Cominâ€™ Round the Bend,â€ the second set eventually left a tad to be desired in terms of keeping the crowd engaged. Though the crowd really came to life for â€œCome Together,â€ the second Beatles cover of the evening was not enough to keep the packed roomâ€™s thirst quenched, primarily due to song selection.
Due to its proximity to Atlanta, the most recent Georgia tour stop, there were a large number of fans who were in attendance at both shows â€” and â€œCome Together,â€Â â€œRamblerâ€™s Anthem,â€ â€œNaughty Sweetie,â€ and â€œSideshow Bluesâ€ were all played both nights. At the Atlanta show those songs were sprinkled throughout the setlist, and each of these hard-hitting numbers nearly brought down the house â€” literally, the Tabernacle balcony quaked.
However, in Athens, these previously-experienced songs were lumped together toward the latter portion of the set, leaving much to be desired in terms of experimentation and diversity for those who were getting their second helping of Georgia Yonder in as many nights.
Nevertheless, the song choices kept the crowd dancing, and overall the performance seemed to go off without a hitch. Though strong on its collective whole, there were times that â€” in spite of a well-delivered and soundly progressive performance â€” the setlist left some scratching their heads.
To download the audience/matrix recording of this show, click here…
Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Ian Rawn…
Setlist (Courtesy of Phishy 12)
I: Years With Rose > Bolton Stretch, Paul & Silas, A Father’s Arms, Red Rocking Chair, Strophe, Sidewalk Stars > Ain’t Been Myself In Years, Pockets, Get Me Outta This City, Isolate > New Horizons > Criminal (with Ob La Di Ob La Da Tease) > New Horizons
II: Winds Of Wyoming, I Am The Slime, Sharecropper’s Son, Going Up, Roughneck Blues, To See You Coming Round The Bend, Ten,Â Rambler’s Anthem, Come Together, The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me, Free To Run > Honestly > Sideshow Blues > Honestly
Known for consistently booking some of the finest performers in new and traditional folk, roots rock, bluegrass and newgrass, and other American roots music, Suwannee Springfest returns in 2012 for its 16th straight year. Suwannee Springest will be held March 23-25, 2012 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida and features some of the biggest names in the scene with veterans and up-and-comers alike. Yonder Mountain String Band, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Duo, Justin Townes Earl, Emmitt-Nershi Band, and Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings will be joined by The Gourds, Hot Buttered Rum, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass and more, with additional artists still to be announced.
Three-day early bird festival tickets are only $125.00 and children age 12 and under are free of charge. Discounts are offered for students and retired and active military. Fans at this yearâ€™s MagnoliaFest (October 20-23, 2012 at Suwannee Music Park) will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to Suwannee Springfest 2012 on-site at MagnoliaFest for only $115.00. To purchase tickets online or to find out more, please visit http://suwanneespringfest.com/.
2012 Suwannee Springfest confirmed lineup below, more artists to be announced.
Yonder Mountain String Band
Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Duo
Justin Townes Earl
Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings
Hot Buttered Rum
Great American Taxi
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
Larry Keel & Natural Bridge
Ryan Montbleau Band
Split Lip Rayfield
The Pinkham Family
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is also home to other Big IV Productions, including the Blackwater Music Festival (taking place this weekend), the Purple Hatterâ€™s Ball and the Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival. Hosted each November, the 2011 Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival lineup includes Trey Anastastio Band, Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood, The Funky Meters, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, John Scofield & Piety Street, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce, George Porter, Jr., Jon Cleary, and the Pimps of Joytime. For more information on the Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival go to: www.bearcreekmusicfestival.com
Widespread Panic has confirmed its New Year’s Eve plans, and will leave its home state of Georgia to ring in 2009 with Yonder Mountain String Band in Denver with a December 30th-31st run at the Pepsi Center.
Yonder Mountain String Band has announced their Fall Tour. It will take them throughout the Midwest and Northeast. They'll be playing two-night dates in Burlington and in Lawrence, the latter of which will be played at two different venues.