Yonder Mountain String Band with Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman 1.2.15
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)
Set One: Pass This Way> EMD> Pass This Way, Straight Line, Son of a Gun, Landfall, If It Hadn’t Been For Love*, Kentucky Mandolin*, Don’t Worry Happy Birthday*, Corona*, Son of a Preacher Man*
Set Two: Travelin’ Prayer, Not Far Away, Amie, Blue Collar Blues> Wheel Hoss> Blue Collar Blues, Anna Lee*, Remind Me*, Lonely Town Lonely Street*, Piece Of My Heart*, Only A Northern Song*> Sidewalk Stars*> Only A Northern Song*
Encore: You Never Can Tell, I Second That Emotion*
*w/ Natalie Cressman and Jennifer Hartswick
Allie Kral got the second set started with Billy Joel’s “Travelin’ Prayer.” While Joel wrote the song, both Earl Scruggs and Dolly Parton covered the song. Dolly earned a Grammy for her recording of it in 1999. “Not Far Away” included some impeccable picking from Jake, while the version of the Pure Prairie League’s “Amie” made the fans dance. “Blue Collar Blues” stayed traditional before it exploded into a perfectly timed “Wheel Hoss.” The return to “BCB” went into an almost psychedelic breakdown that had fans speaking in tongues. Again, Hartswick and Cressman came to the stage for the Kaufman sung “Anna Lee.” “Remind Me” included some of the most extensive jamming of the night. Cressman again came to the microphone, this time with a version of Bill Withers’ “Lonely Town Lonely Street.” Hartswick matched her vocal prowess with Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart.” Again, Yonder Mountain pushed the musical boundaries between bluegrass and psychedelic rock with “Only A Northern Song” into “Sidewalk Stars” and back again. The ladies harmonized nicely on both vocals and instruments during Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell,” also known as “C’est La Vie.” They closed the night with a return to Motown with a version of The Miracles’ “I Second That Emotion.” Yonder Mountain String Band is a group reborn. Their transformation may have not been under the most favorable circumstances. However, the result is one I think we can all live with. Not to mention, they seem much more open to collaboration and mixing up the dynamic musically. Case in point the entire New Year’s run seemed to be a celebration of not only the music we all love, but change as well. Nothing is forever and I think with this last trip around the sun we can all finally move forward with this new order of things. I for one wish both Jeff and YMSB the very best in 2015. Happy New Year.
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