There is Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler: Yonder Mountain String Band’s return to the Holy City

Image by Flickr user prawnpie

A Holy City Hoedown (definition)

1. A social gathering at The Music Farm for the progressive bluegrass band Yonder Mountain String Band. Typically involves multiple shots of Jagermeister with your friends (and/or) a cold whiskey drink in hand. Any and all dancing approved.

Euphoria - Satisfaction - Contentment... definitive implications you just attended the recent Yonder Mountain String Band show (YMSB) held at the Music Farm, February 5th, 2010. The tone was set with the show opener Ten, written by mandolin player Jeff Austin, for an unforgettable evening of bluegrass echoing through the rainy streets of Charleston. The crowd’s energy and expectations are always high of the Nederland, Colorado based progressive bluegrass band, but through relentless touring and hard work, YMSB lives up to and surpasses the -all to familiar- subjective opinions of it’s fans.

The sold out, packed concert is all the evidence needed to say that YMSB has a direct following in the greater Charleston Area and are welcomed with open arms. With a wide range of music lovers in attendance from all walks of life, maybe it’s just the pickin’ from banjo player Dave Johnston, who played one of the best shows I have ever seen him play, that draws the masses to this hard working and successful bluegrass machine.

With a solid first set featuring favorites such as 2 Hits and the Joint Turned Brown, Different Day and Jail Song; the second set was the better of the two. Opening with the ripping feel good, Ramblin in the Rambler > On The Run > Hi Cross Junction > Illinois Rain > On The Run> Ramblin Reprise - the expectations of a “good" show were met and exceeded. Even with standing room only, lines at the bathroom, my sticky Chaco sandals that seemed to absorb every drop of spilt beer from every annoying fraternity boy in sight; the only thing that I could think of was, “What could they possibly play next?”

With my all time two favorite songs being played second set, Sideshow Blues and Raleigh & Spencer, the evening was unforgettable and my 17th YMSB concert goes down as one of the best. Accomplished guitar flat-picker, Adam Aijala, performed a solid, Idaho, first performed in 2001, which lead the ending of the second set into one of the first songs ever performed by the band, Traffic Jam. Stand-up base player, Ben Kaufman, played a great show and also wished his mother a Happy Birthday, who was also in attendance that evening. With an encore of Crying Holy Unto My Lord and They Love Each Other, it was a mutual agreement amongst the crowd that the show was note-worthy and the anticipation for a return to the Holy City is already beginning to build. If you weren’t there, you missed some (Bad A$$ Whiskey Drinking Bluegrass.)

Make sure to visit the Music Farm if your favorite band is ever in the area. The sound is unrivaled by any small music venue in the Greater Charleston Area. Visit the Music Farm for more information.