Yonder Mountain String Band is a Colorado-based band but one that is right at home at IBMA in Raleigh. The band is always a hit on PineCone stages and is often credited with introducing a whole new generation to bluegrass.
The pioneering band first played the festival mainstage in 2014. In 2017 Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufman from the band were a part of an epic “Wide Open Jam” that featured the Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush and Bela Fleck.
During the pandemic year PineCone commissioned members of Yonder to produce a video for the virtual festival. They got together with friends from the jam-grass scene to form a band they called Mountains of Infamous Leftovers. It featured members of Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon and the Infamous Stringdusters.
In 2021 Yonder returned to close down the festival with a ferocious set. “All the love in the world to IBMA,” said Ben Kauffman from the Red Hat Amphitheater Stage. “I’ve been doing this bluegrass gig, somehow, one way or another, for 23 years with Yonder Mountain String Band, I don’t know how it happened.”
The band’s latest album “Get Yourself Outside” was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. The 11-songs featured were written and recorded in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. No Depression Magazine said the record “…processes realities, emotions, and questions that have fomented over the last year via interconnected narratives across the songs.”
The current line-up of the band features founding members Adam Aijala, Ben Kauffman and Dave Johnston. Nick Piccininni is the newest member having joined in 2020.