by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series

HUNTINGTON, WV- The Miller Investment Group at RBC Wealth Management presents the hip progressive bluegrass band Yonder Mountain String Band at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 10th, 2018, at 7:30 PM. Yonder Mountain String Band has spearheaded a renegade movement to rewrite the definition of the genre. Rolling Stone said that Yonder Mountain String Band "liberates bluegrass' hot-stuff riffing and blue-sky harmonies from its hidebound formalism.”

 

Made up of two guitarists, a banjo player, a fiddle player, and a mandolin player, Yonder Mountain String Band has redefined bluegrass music for nearly two decades. While the traditional line up of instruments may appear to be old-timey, don’t be fooled. Yonder Mountain String Band takes old-timey Bluegrass roots and fuses it with rock, soul, and funk. The result is music that doesn’t stand still, is always moving forward, and breaks unprecedented ground.

 

The band has also become a regular performer at major music festivals like Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Summer Camp, Bonaroo, Austin City Limits Festival, and Rothbury. They are known and loved for their energetic sets and their ability to leave it all out on the stage. In 2009, Jarrett Bellini from CNN Showbiz Tonight stated, “The pickers from Colorado had the audience dancing and shaking, kicking up a joyful storm of dust into the cool summer sky." This band is guaranteed to get you out of your seat and moving your feet. Paste Magazine wrote, "Yonder Mountain String Band has found a formula that works: take rootsy bluegrass influences, add in some rock 'n' roll, and seek out an adventurous audience."

 

The band has followed a trail blazed by Bela Fleck, Leftover Salmon, and Sam Bush: namely, introducing a high-energy and modernistic form of bluegrass to a younger generation of thrill-seekers. Yonder founding members Adam Aijala, Dave Johnston, and Ben Kaufmann reconfigured the Yonder Mountain String Band as a traditional bluegrass instrumental five-piece with the help of Allie Kral and Jacob Jolliff in 2014. Since reconstituting the group, the band has released three albums. The band introduced the acclaimed Black Sheep in 2015. 2017 brought the release of both Mountain Tracks: Volume 6 and Love Ain’t Love albums. Love Ain’t Love is what Aijala describes as “[their] best album yet.”

 

Love Ain’t Love has a little bit of everything. “It’s a little more eclectic,” Aijala says. “None of us grew up with bluegrass so there are always other influences in there.” Songs like “Take A Chance On Me” and “Fall Out of Line” show the quintet infusing country rock, funk, world music, and more into their work. The band’s first ever original reggae song, “Groovin’ Away,” closes the album with a summery sense of joy.

 

Tickets to share an adventurous, energy-fused musical evening with the quintet are $70.58/48.76/37.84. To purchase tickets, contact the Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656. Or order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com. You may also visit our box office located in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Marshall University campus. Box office hours are Monday through Friday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Yonder Mountain String Band is also sponsored David and Kim Robinson, Reger Funeral Home, Community Trust Bank, The Chirico Family, Dr. Jeff and Mrs. Brooke Leaberry, WTCR, KEE 100, The Herald Dispatch, WSAZ, Marshall University, and the Marshall Artists Series.

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