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I first became acquainted with Yonder Mountain String Band upon my arrival to Columbia three years ago. I like folk music and blues and so sometimes the name would come up in passing conversation. But it wasn’t until last year that I actually heard their music for the first time. I was shopping in Downtown Columbia for things to hang on the blank walls of my newly-moved-into apartment when I stumbled upon some really cool concert posters at a store that, unfortunately, no longer exists. At closer glance, it turned out I’d been to a few of the shows that the posters had been printed for. Two, to be precise. But I have a weird thing about buying items in threes, and so after scavenging a bit, came upon a really awesome print from a Yonder Mountain show from when they performed at The Blue Note some years ago.
After purchasing them, I went home and immediately bought a Yonder Mountain album, 2006′s self-titled Yonder Mountain String Band. Simply put: I loved it.
Since then, my music taste has changed a bit, evolved; some days I prefer punk, others hip-hop. But just because my tastes change, doesn’t mean that Yonder has. Listening to that album today brings back the exact same feelings I had when I listened to it that September day. It’s a simple happiness, one that sounds like summer nights and picnics, fields and valleys and wide open skies. Their sound, as any music site will tell you, is rather unclassifiable, but whatever other adjectives journalists throw in there, Yonder’s roots are in bluegrass. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from their music, there’s nothing more important to them than their roots. It’s a simple philosophy, and a simple truth, and maybe that’s why it’s so easy to, simply, like them.
Yonder Mountain String Band performs this Wednesday, Oct. 10 at The Blue Note. Tickets are available here.
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