Having just wrapped up their first leg of the 2013 Winter Tour, Yonder Mountain String Band set their sights set on the western states with a swing through the desert valleys and mountain towns of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Colorado. Their journey brought them to Flagstaff, Arizona to play their now annual show at the Orpheus Theater. White peaks, blue sky and a mountain sun greeted the band and bluegrass music-lovers in this picturesque mountain town. As if the weather wasn't adding enough excitement, Yonder Mountain had announced that Jason Carter of the Del McCoury Band would be joining them on fiddle. An old school, mountain jam was brewing.
Athens GA is one of those places in America that always seem to delivery great music – no matter the genre. Another sure bet in Athens is hearing Railroad Earth in the who have struck gold in this small southern college town with their brand of high energy roots-Americana.
After passing the last three weeks playing in the south, Yonder Mountain String Band set their sights on returning to their comfort zone: the mountain towns out west. In Flagstaff, Yonder holds a history of playing their brand of high-energy bluegrass to electrified crowds and this Orpheum show was no different. Yonder arrived on stage around 8:30 pm as Jeff Austin greeted the crowd enthusiastically. “Nice showing Flagstaff, and it's a Tuesday!”
To borrow the description from their fan site The Grotto, The Mother Hips are known as “progenitors of California Soul, songwriting riff-layers, and harmonizing mood-swayers”. These Northern California harmonizing riff-layers brought their roots rock act to The Compound Grill in Scottsdale and gave this intimate crowd a good night of California soul music.
It has been printed that Umphrey's McGee best describe their music as “heavy, not hippie”. After their most recent trip to Southern California, where they played at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, their music might best be described as “acoustically heavy, not hippie”.
In another life, Vince Herman, along with his first band of brothers, Leftover Salmon, was often associated with music festivals. These days there are new words from Vince Herman and it's with his newer band, Great American Taxi (Thirty Tiger Label). Shedding a “jam band” and creating a band with a unique sound, all while combining many musical roots isn't easy. In Great American Taxi's third studio effort, that's exactly what they have accomplished. Paradise Lost has a genuine sound and serves as their most polished album to date.