It was a huge night in Austin, Texas, last Friday, February 17th, as Yonder Mountain String Band made their highly anticipated return to the music capital of the world. The string group from Nederland, Colorado, is always a pleasure to watch perform and the energy and talent was thickly palpable as the lively qunitet shredded and sang the night away on the famous outdoor stage at Stubb’s BBQ in downtown Austin.
The night was perfect: sixty degrees, clear skies and nothing by bluegrass and having a good night on the brain. The amazing G. Love & Special Sauce got the night swinging with their raw, thirst quenching and energetic sound. Garrett Dutton a.k.a. G. Love is everything you want in a front man plus he delivers the most killer harmonica playing in the game. These guys always perform like it ain’t no thang but a chicken wang and we can never get enough.
Yonder Mountain is no stranger to Texas and every time they make it this far South, us Texans remember just how good some Colorado bluegrass is for the soul. Adam Aijala, Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston, Allie Kral and Jacob Jolliff sure know how to collectively compose, produce and perform Folk, Acoustic, Rock, Bluegrass and every string in between. It is consistently mind blowing to watch Jacob Jolliff annihilate the mandolin.
Playing since he was seven years old, Jolliff’s fingers cast a spell as he picks the entire audience up into a hypnotized awe. One of the most exciting parts of the two sets was when G. Love joined Yonder on stage for a harmonica filled cover of The Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.” My heart skipped a beat when the band played Waylon Jenning’s “I’ve Always Been Crazy” as the always stunning Allie Kral won the venue’s affection with her incredible violin playing.
Adam Aijala picks passionately on the guitar, creating a flow weaving the heartbeat Ben Kaufmann’s bass and Dave Johnston’s amazing banjo slammin’ . If you are already a Yonder fan or if you recently fell in love with the group, their shows are always a guaranteed good time for music lovers of all ages. Be sure to check them out on one of their many stops on the road if you get the chance.