It's not surprising that the majority of Yonder Mountain String Band's catalog is culled from live performances. A leading proponent of the so-called "newgrass" phenomenon (think The Dead or Phish), the band couples guitars with banjos, bouzouki and mandolins to spur the communal enthusiasm. The Colorado-based group's last album, 2009's The Show, couples the frenzy of a concert with melodies that linger long after. Now in its 12th year as an active ensemble, Yonder Mountain regularly appears at the nation's major bluegrass gatherings, and is a guaranteed headliner in its native state. But the band has also courted a broader audience by tapping the talents of producer Tom Rothrock, who has worked with Foo Fighters, Beck and Elliott Smith. The experience is very down-home, from the back-porch arrangements and instrumentation to the band's own Boulder-based Frog Pad Records imprint. Our advice? Opt for extremes — experience that down-home demeanor while indulging in a genuine Rocky Mountain high.
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