[click "Play" to hear Susan's interview with Ben Kaufmann and Adam Aijala]
Telluride has its festivals. Nederland has Frozen Dead Guy Days. No kidding, celebrated annually from Friday – Sunday the first full weekend of March. A centerpiece of Frozen Guys Days is a screening of the film “Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed,” a magnum opus which premiered at Mountainfilm in Telluride in 1998. A centerpiece of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is another Nederland import: Yonder Mountain String Band.
Yonder – banjoist Dave Johnston, mandolinist Jeff Austin, bassist Ben Kaufmann and guitarist Adam Aijala – is back again for the 38th annual event, June 16 – June 19, 2011, kicking off the long weekend with a Nightgrass set at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village and appearing again on the Main Stage on Saturday.
“Yonder Mountain returns this year with their sold-out 10th Annual Kick-Off Show at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village and a sold-out show at the Sheridan Opera House in town,” said Planet Bluegrass’s Brian Eyster. “The band has been re-energized in the past year and they’re playing better than ever.”
Yonder Mountain String Band has always played by its own set of rules. Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences, the band pioneered a sound of its own. With its traditional lineup of instruments, Yonder may look like a traditional bluegrass ensemble, but the music performed by the fabulous four transcends traditional genres. It’s bluegrass for the masses, acoustic tunes filled with dazzling chops, and fun to boot.
Yonder officially became Yonder in December 1998 and has since developed both a devoted bluegrass and jam band fanbase.
For more about Yonder’s history and a preview of its Telluride sets, click the play button and listen to my interview with Ben and Adam.