5. Despite losing a founding band member, they're still going strong.
Mandolinist Jeff Austin, who started Yonder with banjoist Dave Johnston back in 1998, left the band amicably in April, but that didn’t slow the band down. They’ve re-envisioned their sound by adding two new members, Allie Kral and Jacob Jolliff, for their summer/fall shows. Joliff has taken over Austin’s mandolin duties, and is already earning high praises from longtime fans and the bluegrass community for his incredible technical skills. "It's really refreshing to have different musical perspectives and to have a format to work within which is both be holding to what Yonder has done in the past and at the same time looking forward to what is coming ahead of us," says Johnston.
Classically trained violinist Allie Kral is influenced equally be classical music and the Grateful Dead. She’s supported an array of jam giants in her 14+ year career, including Moe., Tea Leaf Green, Trampled By Turtles, Leftover Salmon, and more. Her improvisational talents add a rich new layer to the Yonder live sound.
3. New songs alongside old favorites.
Yonder’s been in the studio cooking up a new record; we’re hoping to hear some new cuts in addition to our old faves like “Half Moon Rises” and “40 Miles From Denver.”On their recording time, Johnston remarks: "It's been fantastic, a lot of writing on the spot and arranging in studio. It's definitely something we are all getting enmeshed in."
2. They'll be riding high from a summer of festivals.
After years of being a circuit staple, Yonder created a fest of their own: Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, AR. Held October 16-18, Harvest Fest showcases Yonder friends and favorites from the jam band, roots, and bluegrass genres. "We liked the idea and results of being more hands-on with Yonder," says Johnston. There’s nothing like the afterglow of the festival spirit to make for a great show.
1. Witness history.
If you enjoy neo-bluegrass and improvisational string-based music, you can largely thank Yonder for that. Key players in the early 1990s/2000s jam band movement, they have influenced countless bands and players, inspiring a new generation to pick up instruments, resurrect and reimagine a classic American genre.