Bluegrass music is currently experiencing widespread popularity among mainstream audiences but transforming the vintage sound into music that could gain popular appeal didn’t happen overnight. At 25 years old, Yonder Mountain String Band continues to exist at the forefront of the progressive bluegrass scene as undeniable innovators and pioneers of the modern jamgrass movement. Blending bluegrass with elements of rock, alternative, psychedelic and improvisational music, Yonder Mountain String Band brought their high-energy acoustic sound and light show into rock n’ roll settings with tremendous success, proving it was possible for a bluegrass band to not only exist but excel in a rock world, without drums. The inroads they made created opportunities for like-minded acoustic bands to perform at festivals, rock clubs, theaters and stadiums previously considered off-limits for string bands. Yonder Mountain’s high-energy sound, compelling original music and anything goes attitude cultivated a spirit of collaborative improvisation that continues to fuel today’s progressive bluegrass and jamgrass scenes.
It is a testament to the legacy of Yonder Mountain String Band that their original songs and unique interpretations of covers are regularly performed by next generation bands in the scene.
Yonder Mountain String Band celebrates their quarter century mark with a Grammy Nomination for their 2022 release Get Yourself Outside. Band members Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals), Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals), Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals) and Nick Piccininni (mandolin, banjo, fiddle, vocals) co-wrote all tracks on the album over zoom sessions when Covid shut down the music touring industry. Yonder Mountain was recently honored with an induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame alongside friends and legends Leftover Salmon, Hot Rize, The String Cheese Incident and The Fox Theater (where they played their very first show as a band in 1998). They will celebrate this achievement with an official ceremony this summer.