Yonder Mountain String Band w/ Forlorn Strangers
Time & Location
About The Event
Beech Mountain Resort and Midwood Entertainment present the Yonder Mountain String Band with Forlorn Strangers.
Gates Open: 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. 4 and Under FREE!
Beech Mountain Resort puts family first. This event welcomes all ages. Please be aware this show may contain alcohol consumption. 4 and under get in FREE at the gate.
- This event is suitable for all ages.
- All patrons under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Regardless of age, each ticket admits one person only.
- A bag search will be conducted
- The promoter reserves the right to void any ticket if it is used for any commercial purposes.
- This outdoor venue is positioned at the base of the slopes and will go on rain or shine.
- Most food and beverage vendors accept cash only.
Yonder Mountain String Band's first new album in two years, LOVE. AIN'T LOVE is undeniably the Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit's most surprising, creative, and yes, energetic studio excursion to date. Songs like "Chasing My Tail" and "Alison" are rooted in tradition but as current as tomorrow, animated by electrifying performance, vivid production, and the modernist power that has made Yonder one of the most popular live bands of their generation. Melding sophisticated songcraft, irrepressible spirit, and remarkable instrumental ability, LOVE. AIN'T LOVE is a testament to Yonder Mountain String Band's organic, dynamic, and intensely personal brand of contemporary bluegrass-fueled Americana.
"I think this is our best album yet," says Adam Aijala, guitarist.
Yonder founding members Aijala, banjo player Dave Johnston, and bassist Ben Kaufmann reconfigured Yonder Mountain String Band as a traditional bluegrass instrumental five-piece in 2014 with the recruitment of new players Allie Kral (violin) and Jacob Jolliff (mandolin). The reconstituted group debuted with 2015's acclaimed BLACK SHEEP, but truly gelled as they toured, the new players' personalities seamlessly blending and elevating the intrinsically tight Yonder sound. Yonder made certain to show off the current roster's growing strength with the 2017 release of MOUNTAIN TRACKS: VOLUME 6, the first installment in their hugely popular live recording series since 2008.
"This lineup just keeps getting better," Aijala says. "The more gigs you get under your belt, the better you get. Obviously. But the confidence I have in these individual musicians, I'm amazed at some of the places we go together on stage."
LOVE. AIN'T LOVE is produced by Yonder Mountain String Band and longtime collaborator John McVey, with the majority of the album recorded at Coupe Studios in Yonder's home base of Boulder, CO. Aijala and McVey handled all of the album's mix and engineering at their respective home studios and while Yonder was on the road -- the second time a Yonder member has taken on the technical task.
"John taught me a lot when we worked together on our last album," Aijala says. "So this time around, I felt a lot more confident."
Like virtually all aspects of Yonder Mountain String Band's unlikely artistic methodology, LOVE. AIN'T LOVE is a fully collaborative effort, its original songs credited to the core founding trio of Aijala, Johnston, and Kaufmann, regardless of combination or specific input.
"I think it removes the jockeying for songs on a record," says Aijala. "We're all of the mind that even if one of us wrote a great song, if not for Yonder, would anyone get a chance to hear it? It works better this way. All three of us grew up playing team sports so we're team players -- everyone wants what's best for the band."
Laced with interstitial dialogue, music, sound effects, and other overlapping ephemera, LOVE. AIN'T LOVE is by design Yonder's most ingenious studio collection thus far. Songs like "Take A Chance On Me" and the heavy metal-inspired breakdown, "Fall Outta Line," see the quintet touching upon FM pop, country rock, funk, world music, and so much more; adopting traditional sonic and lyrical idioms to mask deeper and darker personal truths.
"It's a little more eclectic," Aijala says. "None of us grew up with bluegrass so there are always other influences in there. I think this record is a bit more reminiscent of our live show, with different genres and different types of songs."
Indeed, "Last of the Railroad Men" plays like a lost narrative country classic while the unprecedented "Groovin' Away" closes LOVE. AIN'T LOVE with a summery sense of joyous optimism. Yonder's first-ever original reggae song, the track stands out as yet another shining example of the band's lifelong commitment to anything-goes artistic freedom.
"There are no limits to what we do" says Aijala. "We'll try anything, if it feels good, we'll try it again."
In addition to the founding trio's songwriting efforts, Jolliff -- who arrived to play on BLACK SHEEPsessions and never left -- contributed a pair of fiery instrumentals and also lends vocals to a delightful cover of King Harvest's eternal "Dancing In The Moonlight."
"Allie sang a song that we wrote on BLACK SHEEP," Aijala says, "so we wanted to showcase Jake's vocals on this album. We've been playing 'Dancing in the Moonlight' in our live shows and whenever we play it people just light up. We always enjoy playing it, the harmonies are really good and Jake sings the hell out of it so we thought, why not put it on the record?"
2017 will see Yonder continue its seemingly endless touring, leading towards next year's 20th anniversary of their initial coming together, an irrefutably momentous occasion.
"When we were first starting, our creativity was rooted in rebelliousness. Now, there's a greater conscious awareness and attention to detail that we're bringing to our writing and recording. Our nature and instincts remain progressive. We're just doing it in a way that's sharper, more musical, and way more satisfying," says Ben Kaufmann.
With its melodic flair, expert technique, and forward-thinking fervor, LOVE. AIN'T LOVE is a strikingly assured and well-crafted manifestation of Yonder's matchless musical vision. Nearly two decades in, Yonder Mountain String Band is still utterly unto themselves, a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime combo whose inventiveness, versatility, and sheer imagination shows no sign of winding down.
"We've talked about this," Aijala says, "and we all feel like we could play in Yonder until we can't play anymore. As long we still have new ideas, as long as we're still creating something that's fresh to us, I don't see any reason to stop."
Roots-loving, Nashville-based, foot-stomping string quintet Forlorn Strangers is simultaneously innovative and steeped in the tradition of Americana-Folk music. Entertaining comparisons to an “Americana Fleetwood Mac”, Forlorn Strangers are comprised of five unique songwriters whose individual songwriting and performance styles complement one another to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Beyond a like-minded appreciation for roots music, family ties add to the band dynamic: Abigail and Hannah are sisters, and Hannah and Ben are married. According to band members, family is better described as the foundation for the music than an influence — and that feeling of closeness isn’t limited to those related by blood. “We are all family,” says Chris. “We have done a lot of life together, and out of that comes what makes our band more than just five people singing together.” On a practical level, the band’s deep connection also lends strength to its unforgettable five-part harmonies featuring bandmembers Abigail Dempsey (fiddle, percussion, vocals); Hannah Leigh Lusk (mandolin, percussion, upright bass, vocals); Chris Banke (guitar, mandolin, vocals); Benjamin Lusk (banjo, guitar, vocals); and Jesse Thompson (upright bass, dobro, guitar, vocals). The musicians’ magnetism and sheer talent shine brightest when they join forces on stage. They know the potential for music to bring people together, and they mine that potential every time they take the stage in order to create that mystical and intimate relationship between audience and performer. Each member is a multi-instrumentalist and a talented songwriter in his or her own right, making for eclectic and transformative live performances. With so many musical points of view converging, electric and acoustic instruments mix, and the lines between genres are regularly crossed. Blues, bluegrass, folk, rock and pop songs are all found in the band’s repertoire, drawing inspiration from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Band, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Forlorn Strangers are just wrapping up a vagabond lifestyle having spent more than nineteen months on the road touring unflaggingly in support of and in advance of their 2016 self-titled debut LP. That album, Forlorn Strangers, was recorded at John Prine’s Nashville studio, The Butcher Shoppe, with producer and Grammy-winner Phil Madeira at the helm. With Madeira’s guidance, the band created a 10-track album that weaves together five different songwriters and a range of styles. The goal, says the band, was to develop each song as deeply and honestly as possible, while still creating a seamless, whole album. Madeira pushed the members to the next level, exploring unusual instrumentation and musical rabbit holes that the band may not have delved into otherwise. The end result is a balance of dynamic hooks, driving melodies and reflective lyrics that cut right to the heart. Each song reveals a new facet of the band, with different members taking the lead on vocals throughout the album. The opening track, “Bottom of the Barrel”, features the band’s natural harmonies and multi-instrumentalist members. Contemporary and traditional sounds are mixed with timeless themes like love lost and tough times on tracks like “Sugarcane” and “O My Friends”. The end of 2016 will find Forlorn Strangers returning to their Nashville home base where they will continue to write and record in 2017. And although the band is happy to be home for the time being as opposed to living out of a van and crashing on couches for friends and strangers, they also can’t wait to do it all over again. “If all you do is watch the news, you’d think the world is going directly to hell in a handbasket,” says Chris. “But we’ve been fed, clothed, and sheltered by more strangers over the months than you’d believe, and it’s nice to know firsthand that love is alive and well.” The release of Forlorn Strangers and subsequent tireless touring across the country has garnered the band a dedicated following and national recognition. Recently, the band’s latest music video for the single “Leave It On The Ground” premiered on Rolling Stone Country and No Depression exclaimed “Forlorn Strangers is anything but that. This five-person team, all of them playing at least two instruments, is one of the best looking, most thoughtful, and exceptionally talented groups I’ve ever come across.” These kinds of accolades are only the beginning for a band who The Chattanooga Pulse calls “the worthy 21st century successors to the likes of Seeger, Guthrie and the Carter Family.” Be on the lookout for tour dates and new material in 2017.