I’m currently somewhere over the mid-west judging by the checkerboard patches of farmland passing approximately 38,000 ft. beneath me and I can’t decide if I want to read, nap, or wail on the guy beside me for hogging the arm rest. Did I mention that I’m really starting to hate business travel and flying in particular? At least the music – bluegrass in particular – is decent and preventing me from loosing my shit altogether. I’ve moved on then to the ‘Elevation‘ album by the Nederland, CO based Yonder Mountain String Band.
I have dozens of live YMSB shows in my collection of bootlegs and I love them all. I could have chosen any of them and been perfectly happy but I decided to go with a ‘first’ and listen to one of their studio albums instead. Crazy, I know!
‘Elevation‘ represents the bands debut album displaying their progressive style of modern bluegrass based on the original spirit of Bill Monroe. The album was released on Frog Pad Records, the independent record label owned and run by the band, in 2002. The album serves as the natural progression from the earlier Colorado Blizzard Bluegrass Band I was listening to since Mike Marshall and Darol Angor also make guest appearances. Favorites off the album include the catchy ‘Bolton Stretch‘, the alt-country weeper ‘Eight Cylinders‘, ‘Left Me In a Hole’, ‘If There’s Still Ramblin’ In the Rambler (Let Him Go)‘ and the appropriate entitled ‘40 Miles From Denver‘ (or, 5,500 miles as it were).
Sadly, as of April 23, 2014, Jeff Austin is no longer a member of the Yonder Mountain String Band. After years of successful touring and playing, the band cited creative differences and conflicting career goals and announced an amicable parting of ways.