Blog

Yonder Mountain String Band

Yonder Mountain String Band
with The Last Revel
Yonder Mountain String Bands first new album in two years, LOVE. AINT LOVE is undeniably the Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfits most surprising, creative, and yes, energetic studio excursion to date. Songs like Chasing My Tail and Alison are rooted in tradition but as current as tomorrow, animated by electrifying performance, vivid production, and the modernist power that has made Yonder one of the most popular live bands of their generation. Melding sophisticated songcraft, irrepressible spirit, and remarkable instrumental ability, LOVE. AINT LOVE is a testament to Yonder Mountain String Bands organic, dynamic, and intensely personal brand of contemporary bluegrass-fueled Americana.I think this is our best album yet, says Adam Aijala, guitarist.Yonder founding members Aijala, banjo player Dave Johnston, and bassist Ben Kaufmann reconfigured Yonder Mountain String Band as a traditional bluegrass instrumental five-piece in 2014 with the recruitment of new players Allie Kral (violin) and Jacob Jolliff (mandolin). The reconstituted group debuted with 2015s acclaimed BLACK SHEEP, but truly gelled as they toured, the new players personalities seamlessly blending and elevating the intrinsically tight Yonder sound. Yonder made certain to show off the current rosters growing strength with the 2017 release of MOUNTAIN TRACKS: VOLUME 6, the first installment in their hugely popular live recording series since 2008.This lineup just keeps getting better, Aijala says. The more gigs you get under your belt, the better you get. Obviously. But the confidence I have in these individual musicians, Im amazed at some of the places we go together on stage.LOVE. AINT LOVE is produced by Yonder Mountain String Band and longtime collaborator John McVey, with the majority of the album recorded at Coupe Studios in Yonders home base of Boulder, CO. Aijala and McVey handled all of the albums mix and engineering at their respective home studios and while Yonder was on the road the second time a Yonder member has taken on the technical task.John taught me a lot when we worked together on our last album, Aijala says. So this time around, I felt a lot more confident.Like virtually all aspects of Yonder Mountain String Bands unlikely artistic methodology, LOVE. AINT LOVE is a fully collaborative effort, its original songs credited to the core founding trio of Aijala, Johnston, and Kaufmann, regardless of combination or specific input.I think it removes the jockeying for songs on a record, says Aijala. Were all of the mind that even if one of us wrote a great song, if not for Yonder, would anyone get a chance to hear it? It works better this way. All three of us grew up playing team sports so were team players everyone wants whats best for the band.Laced with interstitial dialogue, music, sound effects, and other overlapping ephemera, LOVE. AINT LOVE is by design Yonders most ingenious studio collection thus far. Songs like Take A Chance On Me and the heavy metal-inspired breakdown, Fall Outta Line, see the quintet touching upon FM pop, country rock, funk, world music, and so much more; adopting traditional sonic and lyrical idioms to mask deeper and darker personal truths.Its a little more eclectic, Aijala says. None of us grew up with bluegrass so there are always other influences in there. I think this record is a bit more reminiscent of our live show, with different genres and different types of songs.Indeed, Last of the Railroad Men plays like a lost narrative country classic while the unprecedented Groovin Away closes LOVE. AINT LOVE with a summery sense of joyous optimism. Yonders first-ever original reggae song, the track stands out as yet another shining example of the bands lifelong commitment to anything-goes artistic freedom.There are no limits to what we do says Aijala. Well try anything, if it feels good, well try it again.In addition to the founding trios songwriting efforts, Jolliff who arrived to play on BLACK SHEEP sessions and never left contributed a pair of fiery instrumentals and also lends vocals to a delightful cover of King Harvests eternal Dancing In The Moonlight.Allie sang a song that we wrote on BLACK SHEEP, Aijala says, so we wanted to showcase Jakes vocals on this album. Weve been playing Dancing in the Moonlight in our live shows and whenever we play it people just light up. We always enjoy playing it, the harmonies are really good and Jake sings the hell out of it so we thought, why not put it on the record?2017 will see Yonder continue its seemingly endless touring, leading towards next years 20th anniversary of their initial coming together, an irrefutably momentous occasion.When we were first starting, our creativity was rooted in rebelliousness. Now, theres a greater conscious awareness and attention to detail that were bringing to our writing and recording. Our nature and instincts remain progressive. Were just doing it in a way thats sharper, more musical, and way more satisfying, says Ben Kaufmann.With its melodic flair, expert technique, and forward-thinking fervor, LOVE. AINT LOVE is a strikingly assured and well-crafted manifestation of Yonders matchless musical vision. Nearly two decades in, Yonder Mountain String Band is still utterly unto themselves, a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime combo whose inventiveness, versatility, and sheer imagination shows no sign of winding down.Weve talked about this, Aijala says, and we all feel like we could play in Yonder until we cant play anymore. As long we still have new ideas, as long as were still creating something thats fresh to us, I dont see any reason to stop.

at Anthology Rochester
336 East Avenue
Rochester, United States

no comment

Leave a Reply