Band of the month according to Newgrass Festival Guide.

Listed here is the band of the month and previous Newgrass Bands of the Month

 Band Of The Month


Yonder Mountain String Band

(Proven leaders of the Newgrass Movement)

The band's history stretches back to when banjoist Dave Johnston and mandolinist Jeff Austin were still in Harvard. Having met in Urbana, Illinois, Johnston requested Austin to join and sing in his band The Bluegrassholes. Austin, who played no instrument, revealed to Johnston that he owned a mandolin, who then told him to come to the performance and "play anything, just play fast and loud."

After the collapse of The Bluegrassholes, Johnston moved to Boulder, Colorado, in order to further his bluegrass musical skills. Similarly, Austin moved to Colorado, but instead took up residence in Nederland. Johnston soon joined him there. It was during this time in Nederland that Johnston and Austin met bassist Ben Kaufmann and guitarist Adam Aijala at a local club named the Verve. In December 1998, the four musicians formed Yonder Mountain String Band which was to open for a band at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. They have since developed both a bluegrass and jam band fanbase, and can often be found on tour. Their debut album Elevation was released on Frog Pad Records, an independent record label run by the band, in fall 1999.

From 1999 to 2001 they performed as one of the many attractions at NedFest, a music festival held in the band's hometown. By 2000, the group was also playing larger venues, such as The Fillmore in San Francisco, California. The band has released several live albums with material from live performances, but fans are welcome to record the concert they attend for themselves, as the band is taper-friendly. Check out the high quality DAT recordings of years 2000-2003 provided by "integral part", Josh Parsons.

In 2005, their recording of "Think for Yourself" was included on the album This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul.

In 2008, the band performed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

In 2010, it was revealed that Yonder Mountain would host its very own music festival at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas called Yonder Mountain's Harvest Festival. This is the same site where the larger Wakarusa festival is held and where the previous Mulberry Mountain Harvest Fest was held.

Thank you to Wikipedia for the above article about the history of Yonder Mountain String Band.

In April 2014 it was revealed that Jeff Austin would be leaving the band due to creative differences. Allie Kral on fiddle and Jake Jolliff on mandolin will be joining Yonder for most of the 2014 tour. Plus, Jerry Douglas on Dobro will be joining YMSB for a few shows.

To the right is a special performance at the Northwest String Summit where Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman and others sit in with Yonder Mountain String Band Performing "Franklins Tower".  


Greensky Bluegrass

(Not your Grandmothers Bluegrass)

The band was formed in the fall of 2000 by Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), and Paul Hoffman (mandolin). As newcomers to the bluegrass scene, the three drew upon an array of influences and varied musical backgrounds, reflected in their May 2004 release of Less than Supper, recorded with bassist Chris Carr and dobro player Al Bates. Both Bates and Carr left the band shortly thereafter. In the fall of the same year, bassist Michael Devol joined the group.

In the summer of 2006 the band were winners of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, earning them a spot on the main stage of the 2007 festival. Soon thereafter they released their second studio album, Tuesday Letter, produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth.

In November 2007 the band released its first live recording Live At Bell's, documenting two shows at Bell's Brewery in their hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

 Just over a month later Greensky Bluegrass added Anders Beck of Wayword Sons to the line-up, replacing Al Bates on dobro. In August 2008 the band released their third studio recording Five Interstates, also produced by Tim Carbone.

Their fourth, and most critically acclaimed album, Handguns, made its debut on Billboard's Bluegrass Charts at No. 3 in October 2011, and spent nine weeks on the chart, landing at No. 33 for 2011 on Billboard's Year End Bluegrass Chart.

Greensky Bluegrass has been known to share the stage with act like Sam Bush, The Hackensaw Boys, Larry Keel, and Railroad earth.


Band  of the Month

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys

 So young, their voices haven't matured yet. However, they play their instruments with more maturity than some veterans."The next Nickel Creek that jams like Yonder Mtn. String Band". These kids, inspired by Earl Scruggs and Tony Rice, can play music like most of us wished we could play. They grew up in New Jersey where Bluegrass isn't available. They found Scruggs on Youtube, and the rest is history. They now tour the country playing music festivals and amazing people everywhere they go. The next Newgrass Band to be discovered. Promoters take notice.

 Grensky Bluegrass Performance at the WinterWonderGrass Festival in Febuary 2014

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