YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND
Frog Pad Records
Yonder Mountain String Band founding members Adam Aijala (guitar), Dave Johnston (banjo), and Ben Kaufmann (bass) brought Jacob Jolliff (mandolin) and Allie Kral (fiddle) on board a few years ago to reconfigure the band as a traditional bluegrass instrumental five-piece. But what this Colorado-based band brings to the studio and stage is anything but traditional. With the new band make-up, the progressive bluegrass quintet began to get their feet wet with 2015’s Black Sheepand the numerous dates on the road playing together helped to solidify the sound for this latest release.
Produced by YMSB along with John McVey, this 13-track disc is plush with tight instrumentals and energetic songs. Aijala, Johnston, and Kaufmann wrote most of the tunes on the 13-track disc. “When we were first starting, our creativity was rooted in rebelliousness,” says Kaufmann. “Now, there’s a greater conscious awareness and attention to detail that we’re bringing to our writing and recording. Our nature and instincts remain progressive. We’re just doing it in a way that’s sharper, more musical, and way more satisfying.”
A mixture of genres blends together for the mandolin stomper “Bad Taste” to the banjo song “Kobe The Dog,” the most traditional piece of the record. YMSB delights fans with their slow, sensuous version of the cover song “Dancing In The Moonlight,” and the band rounds out its musical excursion with the breezy-getaway reggae tune “Groovin’ Away.” (Frog Pad Records, 2425 Balsam Dr., Boulder, CO 80304, www.yondermountain.com.)BC