One of the mainstays of modern bluegrass will take the stage in Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room Friday, March 25, when Yonder Mountain String Band returns to the Sierra Nevada.
Yonder Mountain String Band is Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals), Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals), Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals), Allie Kral (fiddle, vocals), and Jake Joliff (mandolin, vocals).
Hailing from Nederland, Colorado, YMSB formed in 1998, initially coming together to open for another band at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. Within a few years, Yonder was moving into the national circuit, playing venues like the Fillmore West in San Francisco and music festivals across the country.
Now, YMSB is making bluegrass and acoustic music like never before, most recently represented by 2015’s “Black Sheep.” The album was a return to Yonder’s string band roots in part, omitting the electric guitar, drums, and other rock tones that had appeared on much of the band’s work in past.
“It’s awesome man, I know Ben had a quote saying, ‘It sounds more like Yonder than anything we’ve done before,’” Aijala said in 2015. “I’m really happy with the results. I think everyone played really well and I think the songs are really good. You know, having Jake and Ally was really interesting. Jake hadn’t even played a show with us when we did the first one or two sessions with him, I think just the first session.”
This summer will see Yonder Mountain String Band appear at regular haunts like Delfest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and YMSB’s very own Northwest String Summit at Horning’s Hideout in Oregon, among many other scheduled appearances. The group also has an August booking at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.
Yonder Mountain String Band has been a familiar act in the Tahoe basin, appearing regularly over the years at Crystal Bay, MontBleu Resort Casino, and other venues in the region. Americana stomp-grass act Polecat will be opening for YMSB at Crystal Bay on Friday, while the Grateful Bluegrass Boys will host an after-party in the Red Room.
Yonder Mountain String Band
When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 25
Where: Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room
Tickets: $30 in advance, $35 on the day of the show, $50 booth seating