Best Post-Jam Disc - 2007
Yonder Mountain String Band
The list of people contributing to this veteran Nederland combo's bow for the famed Vanguard label may fill longtime supporters with anxiety -- but such worries are misplaced. On the album, banjoist Dave Johnston, guitarist Adam Aijala, bassist Ben Kaufmann and mandolinist Jeff Austin join forces with Tom Rothrock, a producer who's worked with the Foo Fighters, among other modern rockers, as well as Pete Thomas, the original drummer for Elvis Costello's Attractions. Thanks to such contributions, "Classic Situation" and "How 'Bout You?" have a different feel than any of the group's previous recordings. Nevertheless, the Yonder Mountain boys maintain their connection to the bluegrass and roots styles that brought them together in the first place, just as they did when they were first discovered by the nation's jam aficionados, and their loyalty keeps the material anchored to tradition no matter who's behind the boards. The album represents a change for this four-piece, but their essence remains unaltered.