Yonder Mountain String Band: Our Fans Are as "Diverse as Our Influences" | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Yonder Mountain String Band: Our Fans Are as "Diverse as Our Influences"

It's almost been 16 years since Colorado act Yonder Mountain String Band first got its start, but it feels like it's been America's most loved bluegrass act for so much longer. Though its genre isn't mainstream, YMSB has fans from pretty much every walk of life. It is as beloved in the Americana circles as it is by jam-band-loving hippies. All of them flock in droves to festivals to dance until they can't dance anymore to the band's driving, energetic, passionate music.

"Our fans are as voracious and musically diverse as our influences," says singer Dave Johnston. "I think that a lot of YMSB fans recognize themselves in how we do things and play. It's a wonderful feeling of community; it's a huge part of our success."

Until two years ago, the band was made up of four core members: Johnston, Ben Kaufmann, Adam Aijala, and Jeff Austin. Austin left the group because he wanted to go solo and had some creative differences. For fans, this was shocking and sudden news. But the band continues to move forward, with new mandolin player Jacob Jolliff and violinist/vocalist Allie Kral.

"Right now, it feels the same way it had for 14 years prior." Johnston explains: "We've been writing, rehearsing, and jamming just like we used to, but of course there is a change; with two new people, there is definitely going to be some kind of change. Overall, though, I'd say the original vibe of the band is back."

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Derek Heid

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