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Yonder Mountain String Band

Fusing bluegrass with elements of rock, progressive, and improvisational music, the Yonder Mountain String Band have become one of the most celebrated acts on the acoustic music scene, thanks to the group's inventive style and busy touring schedule. The group's story began in Urbana, Illinois, where Dave Johnston, a student at the University of Illinois, met fellow student Jeff Austin. Johnston played banjo in a local acoustic band called the Bluegrassholes, and when he learned Austin was a novice mandolin player, he invited him to join. The Bluegrassholes proved to be short-lived, and Johnston decided to relocate to Boulder, Colorado, attracted by the city's active music scene. Austin also headed to Colorado, but instead settled in nearby Nederland, and when Johnston found out Austin lived nearby, he packed up his belongings and made the 17-mile journey to Nederland. Austin and Johnston soon crossed paths with a pair of like-minded musicians, guitarist Adam Aijala and bassist Ben Kaufmann. In December 1998, the new quartet adopted the name the Yonder Mountain String Band, and landed their first gig, opening for a band called Runaway Truck Tramps at Boulder's Fox Theater.

Given the band's collective musical interests, which ranged from punk rock to the Grateful Dead, the Yonder Mountain String Band began attracting an audience that went beyond traditional bluegrass fans, and as they began gigging extensively, they won an especially loyal audience on the Jam Band circuit. In 1999, the YMSB recorded their first album, Elevation, which they released through their own Frog Pad Records label. As their reputation as a live act grew, the Yonder Mountain String Band released Mountain Tracks, Vol. 1, an album compiled from their archive of live recordings; it was the first in what would become a series, with the group releasing four more Mountain Tracks live sets between 2002 and 2008. A second studio album, Town by Town, appeared in 2001, and featured guitar work by noted bluegrass artist Tim O'Brien. For their third studio album, the YMSB collaborated with guitarist and songwriter Benny Galloway; Old Hands also included guest performances by Jerry Douglas and Darol Anger. The album rose to number five on the American bluegrass charts, and the group's success attracted the attention of noted independent label Vanguard Records, who signed YMSB and released their self-titled 2006 set, an eclectic release that was produced by Tom Rothrock (best known for his work with Beck, Moby, and Elliott Smith) and featured drumming from Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello's Attractions. Despite the album's success on the charts -- it rose to number one on the bluegrass charts and gave the band their first appearance on the indie chart at number 43 -- they opted to return to Frog Pad for their next studio effort, 2009's The Show.

For the next several years, the Yonder Mountain String Band concentrated on live work, playing theaters and festivals across the country, but the band surprised fans in April 2014, when it was announced that Jeff Austin had left the group, in what the YMSB called (in a press release) an amicable departure "due to varying career goals and creative pursuits." The group invited two musicians to join them on their subsequent live dates, Jacob Jolliff on mandolin and Allie Kral on violin, and this five-piece edition of the Yonder Mountain String Band recorded a studio album, Black Sheep, which was slated for release by Frog Pad in June 2015. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Annalee (Single)

Comments

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New fiddle player has AMAZING BALLS!
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justinderekb r a d l e y 8 7
New fiddle player = AMAZEBALLS
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Not nearly as good without Austin
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Toe tappin band!
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nickcanova
Jeff Austin is a hero, will be missed!!!
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carson.grant j o n e s 4 0
awesome banjo
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Always at Horning's Hideout
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The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
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YMSB was an amazing band to see live before they thought they were a jam band and not a Bluegrass band.
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this band makes me so very happy!!
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Sadly Jeff Austin left to pursue other projects...b u t the other are gonna Keep on Going! Interested in seeing how this works out...
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Such good vibes ! ROO 2014
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rrem1718
Discography needs some serious updating! Yonder Rocks!
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Eugene loves you
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Pretty much the soundtrack for high country Colorado.
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No Old Hands in the Discography? Are you serious?
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skirtsoplain
cool
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I love these guys!
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Going to see them at Penn's Peak in jim Thorpe pa. Great venue, seeing them right after OCMS . Summer can't get much better than that :)
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blake_minton
They put on the best show @ Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa every year! I never miss that show! The spring floor gets going so much it makes it hard to stand
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That Douche can strum sum s**t...
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nice!
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Just saw em' two times in St Louis this weekend. I would've gone a third night if only they did a third night!
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saw them last night in Austin..it was a f**king PARTY
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dell_jesse
Gotta love Colorado blue grass....
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Pic it boys picit
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Its soo badass I'm up dancin
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When are yaw comin to Charleston sc? Bring leftover salmon with you.
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lol you suck
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yonder sucks
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Ok so this is the first time iv ever heard of these guys Idaho is the song and they r fantastic how iv lived this long without knowing this band is beyond me
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the boys were EPIC in lyons last wkend..thanx for the mind and body vaca
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Strummit!!!! ! ! !
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They are gonna be at BloomHeavy RIver Romp... bloomheavy.c o m
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Going to see them on state street in Madison Wi. IM SUPER PUMPED!!!
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yonder at fillmore west was zozo fun, when they coming to boulder to play again with Bearl?
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all who yonder are not lost!!!!!
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all that live fun AND they have great studio albums!! Yonder 4LIFE
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jsthornton72
Yonder Mountain at the Grand Targhee Blue Grass Festival with Old and in the Gray and others. Late 1990's. Simply UNBELIEVABLE !
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the banjo player was drunk, thats why jeff was covering him.
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scott9061
saw them at String Summit last weekend, fun as ever, maybe more so!
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Had an awesome time at the recent Penn's Peak show. Yonder always delivers.
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pncboy85
just saw these guys at Penns Peak, on Thursday night. Good band but mandolin player absoultely hogged the spotlight ALL NIGHT LONG. Poor Banjo player was pushed aside on a song intended to feature and about the banjo.
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klitzkefarqu h a r
Just saw these guys yesterday at Caravan Chicago. They put on a great show! Probably my favorite set of the day.
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aaronkryzer
Been a favorite since I saw them in 2001 great live shows their energy and stage presence is fricken sweet!! It seems like they really love playing music and appreciate the fans.
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justpeachy81 4 1
Yonder's DelFest set this year was amazing!
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dalyn_21502
just saw these guys at Delfest in Cumberland, Md.!!!! As always a steller performance. . . . . Y o n d e r ON!
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rwear1
im glad they left out "the show"
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Ha my friend Dave lives over there yonder; basicaly at the Gorge.
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tonyl70
thinking of going to yonder
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