Very few bands have had success in the field of bluegrass recently quite like Yonder Mountain String Band. Their improvisational take on traditional forms has placed them as a favorite band for festivals and theaters all across the country. They make their way back to this side of the country on their current tour, landing in Portland this Thursday (March 26) at the Crystal Ballroom.
Last year, YMSB hit a rocky path when it was announced that founding member Jeff Austin would be stepping away from the band. Instead of holding back, all eyes went forward with a new album set to release this summer. Black Sheep will hit shelves (and iTunes, ect.) June 16th and has already garnered a lot of enthusiasm from the band. For the first time, they are putting out a record that, in its entirety, incorporates the traditional bluegrass arrangement of guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and bass yet still manages to include a cover of the Buzzcock’s “Ever Fallen in Love.”
Yonder has been pushing the boundaries of their bluegrass roots since the late 90s and greatly explored an improvisational style that has placed their name within jam band circuit. Over the past decade they’ve been a favorite for festivals including 14th year of their own, Northwest String Summit. With over a decade at the front of the modern bluegrass scene, they’ve built a strong following in all areas of the country.
Along for the Northwest dates, Yonder Mountain String Band is bringing Seattle’s folk rock foursome, The Cave Singers to open the shows. The Cave Singers have spent several years (and four albums) creating their own brand of acoustic rock. Even though at its core, the band embodies folk more than anything else, it doesn’t come close to giving justice to their ability as songwriters. They bring in a vast assembly of instruments including the occasional jazz flute in front of two guitars, a drummer and a bassist. Their songs are all brought together by raspy, howling vocals of lead singer Pete Quirk.
This week, both these bands they make their way into the left coast with other stops at:
Wilma Theater – Missoula, MT (YMSB and Cave Singers)
Neptune Theater – Seattle 3/27 (YMSB—the Cave Singers play at Fort George Brewery in Astoria)
McDonald Theater – Eugene 3/28 (YMSB and Cave Singers)