Lately I have been indulging into a plethora of Red Dirt Country and also Bluegrass Music as well, in addition I also enjoy what Bluegrass purists dub as “progressive” Bluegrass which features the core of Bluegrass while omitting the mountain sound of it..if that makes any sense to you.
In today’s music market there exists a passel of these “progressive” Bluegrass bands and having been around for some eighteen plus years The Yonder Mountain String Band remains on the fore front of the list of them. I believe this is simply Bluegrass with a more modern sound, marketed to a younger audience akin to the marketing pitch of pop country minus the hokey plastic packaged overproduction of it. The difference you ask…this “progressive” Bluegrass doesn’t omit talent like pop country often does.
One of the select reason I adore this band so much is the longevity of their current (and steady) lineup of only one original member being gone, and that is the mandolin juggernaut Jeff Austin who is now solo and released a stellar album in 2015 on Yep Rock Records. He left YMSB citing creative differences and schedule conflict in 2014 and was replaced by Jake Joliff.
Back in 2015 YMSB’s offering Black Sheep earned a spot on my TOP 50 of 2015, yes it was indeed a darn fine album in every way and it continues to maintain it’s place within my constant rotation of albums when I am into listening to Bluegrass of any form. This past spring while on their Black Sheep tour the band stopped into Austin Texas in April on their 2016 leg of this tour and recorded a LIVE DVD which you can purchase HERE.
They filmed it at Stubb’s BBQ at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin Texas last year and this is the set list of the show:
3 New Dusty Miller
4 Black Sheep
5 Traffic Jam
6 Around You
7 Southern Flavor
8 Love Before You Can’t
9 Little Lover
10 I’m Lost
11 Anna Lee
12 All The Time
14 All the Time
15 Punk Sheep
I thought this DVD concert featured a nice variety of selections from a wide span of time having the first track “Traffic Jam” being from 2004 series of their “Volume” live albums throughout their years of playing music and then going right into their 2015’s Black Sheep album released on their own label in Colorado Frog Pad Records. Fiddle player Allie Kral’s vocals are featured well on the song “Love Before You Can’t” on the Black Sheep album and on the DVD she is also featured well on them.
And HEY they are featured in many of my upcoming festival series features, so You’ll be seeing their name pop up on many of them including Winter Wondergrass out there in Colorado, their home state!