What is Yonder?
Yonder refers to the “Yonder Mountain String Band”, which is an American band based in Colorado. The band plays bluegrass music and has so far released several albums, with five of them produced in the studio and several others taken from live performances.
The “Yonder” band is composed of four members. Jeff Austin does the mandolin, Ben Kaufmann on bass, Dave Johnston on banjo, and Adam Aijala on guitar. All four members do vocals for their recordings and performances. Most lyrics of the band’s songs are written by Jeff Austin and Ben Kaufmann, while most of the instrumentals are played by banjoist Dave Johnston and guitarist Adam Aijala.
The Yonder band was formed in 1998 with all four members. But the band’s story already started years before when Dave Johnston and Jeff Austin met during their college years in Urbana, Illinois. Johnston was part then of another band called The Bluegrassholes and he invited Austin to join them. When Johnson’s former band dissolved, he moved to Colorado. Austin also moved to Colorado and later on they met the two other band members, Ben Kaufmann and Adam Aijala. Since then, the Yonder band has developed a bluegrass sound and was involved in lots of tours, acquiring fans along the way.
Over the years, the band has played in various clubs, events, and concerts including gigs at Nedfest, which is a music festival in Colorado. They also had the chance to play in bigger venues such as The Fillmore, located in California. In its biggest exposure yet, the Yonder Mountain String Band became part of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, which was held in nearby Denver, Colorado. The band’s latest and fifth studio album is entitled “The Show” which was released in 2009 and produced by Tom Rothrock, a man more associated with rock music rather than bluegrass. Many people have wondered this development in terms of the supposed bluegrass feel for the album, but the band stands by their personal choices and tries to tell people that they just want to play music by their own rules and not be restricted by common classifications.