Review & Photos | Yonder Mountain String Band | Brooklyn

The venerable veterans have released 11 albums, a mixture of live and studio releases over the past 15 years, and their most recent offering, YMSB EP'13, was put out on October 8. The gritty ditty is a four-track disc, produced by the band, with each song written and sung by a different member. As with previous records, the album was distributed by Frog Pad records, an independent record label run by the band and one can continue to download live shows from the group's website.

Not surprising for a band that garnered their reputation and popularity due to relentless determination, the band still maintains an absolutely rigorous touring schedule. They have announced a tour to commence in early 2014, with the first seventeen shows to take place without Austin, who has decided to spend the time at home with his family and new daughter, “Nothing in this world is bigger in life than family…and in this case, not even the music I love so dearly.” The band will persevere but the loss of Austin will no doubt be a void for the legions of fans engrossed in his every facial tick. I once wrote here that Austin looked like David Naughton from American Werewolf In London and changes his countenance in such intense manner it was as if he was turning into a werewolf. Well, upon further examination, Austin is so mesmerizing and intensely focused it's as if he invited us to the cabin in the Evil Dead and he is simply the first one to be demonizing before our very eyes.

Fans of the Grateful Dead are "Deadheads," Lady Gaga has "Monsters" and YMSB possesses a die-hard loyal following labeled with the moniker "KINFOLK." Kinfolk are defined as, "A group of people united by collective passion, sharing in a journey YONDER." If one can't catch the band as they zigzag across the country on an annual mission to share a stellar musical experience, one should specifically look for them at the two festivals they are involved with: Arkansas' Yonder Mountain's Harvest Festival and String Summit in Oregon.

When I asked Austin if there was a certain point where he knew he made it, he immediately retorted with sincerity, "I think if I ever say I made it, I better breath my last breathe. If you get content, you die, due to apathy and no growth. I never high five myself that I made it.” Well, we all know that they've made it and we are better for it. If they continue the same level of effort and integrity, the sky is the limit.

Set List:

Set I: OTR>Polly Put the Kettle On>OTR, At the End of the Day, Spanish Harlem, Fingerprint, My Gal, Katy Daly, Country Boy R&R, In the Seam, Dawn’s> What the Night Brings //
Set II: Looking Back Over the Shoulder, Raleigh and Spencer, Lonesome Letter, Maid O The Canyon, Just the Same, Finally Saw the Light>Dear Prudence, Part 1> Althea>Pass This Way>Little Rabbit>Casualty // Encore: 2 Hits

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[Published on: 11/7/13]

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