Yonder Mountain String Band
This beloved Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit, Yonder Mountain String Band, went through a lineup shake-up in 2014 when founding guitarist Adam Aijala, banjo player Dave Johnston, and bassist Ben Kaufmann recruited the blindingly talented Allie Kral (violin) and Jacob Jolliff (mandolin). The new orientation around traditional string band instrumentation has been a surprising boon, turning what was already one of its generation’s favorite live bands into something new and exciting. Their releases since have been increasingly inspired and joyful; last year’s Love. Ain’t Love is undeniably YMSB’s most surprising, creative, and energetic studio excursion to date, showcasing the band’s organic, dynamic, and intensely personal brand of contemporary bluegrass-fueled Americana.