Yonder Mountain String Band

Yonder Mountain String Band

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A significant step forward for Colorado's Yonder Mountain String Band, this 2006 self-titled album marks the bluegrass ensemble's Vanguard Records debut and its first collaboration with pop/rock producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliott Smith). Although the group's jam-band leanings are still evident on this 12-track set, the songs are some of the most focused and confident of the act's career, with standouts including the Byrds-like opener, "Sidewalk Stars," and "I Ain't Been Myself in Years," which recalls Jeff Tweedy's pre-Wilco work with Uncle Tupelo. While the focus of the album is still on Yonder Mountain String Band's amazingly deft banjo, mandolin, and guitar interplay, it also features a tighter sense of songwriting and added rhythmic heft, easily making it one of the group's most assured and enjoyable outings.

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