Search - Yonder Mountain String Band :: Elevation

Yonder Mountain String Band
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

Frog Pad: An independent record label based in Boulder,CO.


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CD Details

All Artists: Yonder Mountain String Band
Title: Elevation
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: YMSB/ Frog Pond Records
Original Release Date: 9/15/1999
Release Date: 9/15/1999
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Bluegrass, Jam Bands, Bluegrass Jam Bands
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 783707350622


Album Description
Frog Pad: An independent record label based in Boulder,CO.

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CD Reviews

Four heads, eight hands, one mind
John S. Ryan | Silver Lake, OH | 10/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Well, they're not quite going to displace Railroad Earth at the top of my Favorite Band Currently In Existence list, but they're getting mighty close. They've grown on me so much over the last year or so that I think they've passed the String Cheese Incident and moved into second place.Much nearer to "traditional" bluegrass than either of those other two bands (in part because they don't use drums/percussion), the Yonder Mountain String Band plays like one mind with four heads and eight hands. Each of the four (Jeff Austin, mandolin; Ben Kaufman, bass; Adam Aijala, guitar; Dave Johnston, banjo) is just so good, and so in tune with the other three, that they sound as though they could play the phone book, without rehearsal, and make it interesting to listen to.Fortunately, they don't need to resort to playing telephone directories, since all four of them also sing and write. I personally like Austin's stuff best -- one of the reasons I decided to review this particular CD is that Austin's stunning "Half Moon Rising" and "If There's Still Ramblin' In The Rambler (Let Him Go)" are on it -- but the rest of them turn out fine material too. (Plus there's the utterly lovely "To Say Goodbye, To Be Forgiven" by Ben Galloway, who also cowrote "Check Out Time" with Johnston on _Town By Town_.)Another reason I picked this one to review is that it was produced by Sally Van Meter, whom resophonic-guitar fans will recognize as a master of the instrument (if they know any dobroists other than Jerry Douglas). She gives the foursome a clean, dry, crisp-mountain-air sound and even sits in on a few tracks (lap steel, Scheerhorn, and backing vocals, and she plays on one or two tracks for which the liner notes fail to credit her).And the third reason is that Darol Anger joins in on fiddle for a few tunes. (Tim O'Brien handles fiddle on _Town By Town_, and he's great too. But I've liked Anger ever since the David Grisman Quintet's first album. And Tony Rice's _Manzanita_. And . . .)But the main reason to listen to these guys is their tight, and I mean _tight_ performance. How they do it, I don't know; it's like an egg toss between two speeding trains. Anyway, call it newgrass, jamgrass, slamgrass, or whatever you want; these guys can cook. And you need to pay attention if you want to find out how _well_ they can cook; if you just let their stuff play as background music, it can sound deceptively laid-back. It isn't.Then, too, you have to love a bluegrass band whose liner notes include thanks to the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa, Tori Amos, and Sam Bush (a sample culled more or less at random from Jeff Austin's thank-you list). Even if you think you don't like bluegrass, you may want to give these guys a listen if you like any of those other artists; they may surprise you.If you're just now being introduced to YMSB, I'd recommend starting with this CD and following it with _Town By Town_; then move on to the _Mountain Tracks_ releases. But it won't hurt too much if you vary the order. Heck, you can even get them all at once."