Portland, Ore. – Progressive bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band (YMSB) with special guest Darol Anger will once again anchor the tenth annual Northwest String Summit from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Hornings Hideout near Portland, Ore. Featuring four days of music and camping, the boutique music festival will increase to a four day event in celebration of its ten year anniversary.
Born in Colorado during the extended restoration of new grass bluegrass music, Yonder Mountain String Band is comprised of Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals), Jeff Austin (mandolin, vocals), Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals) and Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals).
Although the Yonder Mountain String Band was formed in Nederland, CO, its origins go back to Urbana, IL, where college student and banjo player Dave Johnston met mandolin player Jeff Austin. Austin moved west and settled in Nederland. Johnston joined him there, and the two met bass player Ben Kauffman and guitarist Adam Aijala at a club called the Verve.
In December 1998, they formed the Yonder Mountain String Band to open for a band at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. They developed a following among bluegrass fans and also among jam band fans as they played extensively and worked their way up the bar and club circuit to become one of the more popular acoustic bands touring today. Darol Anger, exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, will join Yonder Mountain String Band to celebrate ten years of the Northwest String Summit.
Featured artists of the 2011 Northwest String Summit also include Railroad Earth; Keller and the Keels featuring Keller Williams and the husband and wife combo of Larry and Jenny Keel; Todd Snider & Great American Taxi Featuring Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon; The Travelin’ McCourys with Rob and Ronnie McCoury; the Emmitt Nershi Band featuring Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon and Billy Nershi of String Cheese Incident; Greensky Bluegrass; The Cascadia Project featuring Darol Anger, Scott Law, Sharon Gilchrist and Samson Grisman; Cornmeal; Danny Barnes; Jackstraw; Pert Near Sandstone; Pete Kartsounes & Benny “Burle” Galloway; Elephant Revival; and the 2011 band contest.
Considered the Pacific Northwest’s premier boutique music festival, the Northwest String Summit will provide four days of mostly acoustic music and camping in a family-fun atmosphere nestled in one of the most gorgeous festival sites on the west coast, Hornings Hideout, a beautiful forested site located just 20 minutes from Portland in North Plains, Ore. at the edge of Horning Reservoir.
A family-oriented festival, the Northwest String Summit will designate a specific family camping area where quiet hours are observed. The festival also provides a “kid’s tent” that features a variety of arts and crafts and other activities for young people.
The festival gates will open to the public beginning Thursday, July 21 at 4 p.m.
Advance tickets are available now at all TicketsWest outlets and online at TicketsWest at various tiered prices. For more information about the Northwest String Summit ticketing, please visit http://www.stringsummit.com. For more information about Hornings Hideout, please visit http://www.horningshideout.com.
It's not often you hear of a neo-bluegrass band breaking into the national spotlight with a performance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, tour dates with Dave Matthews, and selling out 9,000 seat venues (i.e., Red Rocks Amphitheater). Yonder Mountain String Band is clearly the exception to the rule, having performed in front of more than 250,000 fans during just the past year.
In 2008, the band was even honored with the distinction of opening up for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention (Denver, CO), which brought the group in front of 75,000 people at INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium. Now in their 12th year as a group, Yonder continues to sell-out top music venues across the country including The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA), Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver, CO), Pepsi Center (Denver, CO), Best Buy Theater (NYC), Stubb's (Austin, TX), House of Blues (Chicago, IL) and others.
With the band having one of the strongest touring bases in the industry, fans and critics alike have been drawn to both their live shows and singular studio albums. Reporting from the All Good Music Festival (2009), journalist Jarrett Vellini from CNN Showbiz Tonight notes, "The trophy for best musical set goes to Yonder Mountain String Band who, as the sun began to set, left it all on the stage for an hour and a half. The pickers from Colorado had the audience dancing and shaking, kicking up a joyful storm of dust into the cool summer sky."
Commenting on their recent studio recording The Show, Rolling Stone critic Will Hermes says, "The concept is great: liberate bluegrass' hot-shit riffing and blue-sky harmonies from its hidebound formalism and see where it flies. This Boulder, CO crew brings dazzling chops to the table." Produced by rock producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Foo Fighters), The Show marks Yonder's second go around with Rothrock and their fifth studio album released on their independent label, Frog Pad Records. Featuring the band backed by Elvis Costello's sideman Pete Thomas on drums on six tracks, The Show includes 14 original compositions written by various band members.
Yonder has always played music by its own design. Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences, they've come to pioneer a sound that they alone could only champion. With a traditional lineup of instruments, they may appear to be a traditional bluegrass band at first glance but they've taken the customary old-timey instrumentation (sans the fiddle) to new heights, transcending any single genre. Yonder has become a regular performer at major music festivals like the iconic Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit and DelFest as well as massive multi-stage events like Austin City Limits Festival, Bonnaroo and Rothbury.