As with Kinfolk Celebrations of yore, several additional bands will be playing the main stage each afternoon as a spirited kickoff to the day's musical celebration. These are bands with close ties to Yonder Mountain – bands that Adam, Ben, and Dave will be enjoying in the crowd alongside the kinfolk (that is, if they're not joining-in onstage).
Kinfolk Celebration Performers
In 1995 Ronnie and Rob teamed up and put out a self-titled CD on Rounder Records. In 1998 Ronnie teamed up with David Grisman and some other great mandolin players to create the CD titled “Mandolin Extravaganza”, which made it’s appearance on the Acoustic Disc label in 1999. This CD was nominated for a Grammy Award and also won Instrumental Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year at the IBMA awards show in October of 2000. In 1999, Ronnie co-produced The Mountain, with Steve Earle and The Del McCoury Band. 2000 also brought along with it Ronnie’s first solo project…Heartbreak Town. A must hear for everyone!
Ronnie is married to Allison Bliss from Massachusetts and they have three children, Evan, Joshua and Emma. Someone once asked Ronnie what his greatest accomplishments were, musically or non and his first response was “Starting my own family”. Next in line was receiving the Grammy for “The Company We Keep”. Family life is very important to the McCourys. Having children inspired Ronnie to put out his next project, Little ‘Mo McCoury, a CD full of children’s songs done Bluegrass style.
Along with his award winning mandolin playing, Ronnie is also a singer/songwriter and producer He has recorded or performed with such diverse acts as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Phish, Charlie Daniels, John Hartford, Vince Gill, Loretta Lynn, Alison Krauss, David Grisman, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, the Allman Brothers, John Paul Jones and countless others!
When Ron isn’t on stage with the Del McCoury Band or The Travelin’ McCoury’s, singing and playing mandolin, you will probably find him at home with his family. He enjoys cooking, gardening and reading. He loves to play golf, remodel and do construction work. He also enjoys picking up the guitar or maybe even the fiddle for a little musical change. [less...]
The summer of 1991 brought a close to his high school years and it was also the year he landed his first professional job. He worked six months for The Goins Brothers playing fiddle and traveling mostly on the East Coast. In February of 1992 The Goins Brothers played in Nashville, TN with Del McCoury; Jason asked him for a job. Two weeks later he was back in Nashville trying out. They played in Nashville, West Memphis and Garland, TX and when they got home they told him that he had the job. He’s been with the band ever since.
Since then Jason has relocated to Nashville and it’s been more than a dream come true for him. He feels very fortunate to be able to play with some of his musical heros and to travel the world playing bluegrass music.
Jason’s interests besides his music include sports of any kind, gardening and spending time at home with his wife. When asked what the best thing about being in The Del McCoury Band was he replied, “It’s hard to list only one thing. Of course the music, the friendships, playing in Europe and on the Grand Ole Opry, Jean’s cookin’!! But most of all standing on stage, watching Del sing and play his guitar.” [less...]
The legend of Leftover Salmon begins in October 1985 when co-founder, singer, guitarist and washboard player Vince Herman left his home in Morgantown, WV with a buddy in search of that Rocky Mountain High. “The day that I arrived in Boulder” recalls Herman, “we literally drove in off the highway, parked the car, saw a sign at a bar that said ‘Bluegrass’, went in there and it was Drew playing with the Left Hand String Band; like the moment we got to town.”
Some would call this fate, others coincidence, either way this moment would change the lives of Herman, Emmitt and a whole lot of other people. A few years later Herman had established his own group, the Salmon Heads, and on New Year’s Eve 1989 he asked Left Hand String Band members Emmitt and bassist Glen Keefe to fill in for some missing Salmon Heads. They took the name Leftover Salmon and the group played its first show at The El Dorado Café in Crested Butte, CO.
Leftover Salmon delivered its debut album; “Bridges to Bert” in 1993, and followed it up with the live album “Ask The Fish” in 1995, both of which helped land the group a spot on the influential H.O.R.D.E. tour. With the band’s stock on the rise and their Colorado slamgrass style firmly established, they signed to Hollywood Records and released what many consider to be the definitive Salmon record, 1997’s ‘Euphoria”. The band would go on to release four more albums, each unique in its own way, none more so than 1999’s “The Nashville Sessions” which placed Salmon alongside some of its biggest influences and most beloved colleagues, including Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Widespread Panic’s John Bell, Blues Traveler’s John Popper, Earl Scruggs, Waylon Jennings and Lucinda Williams.
On New Year’s Eve 2005, exactly 15 years to the day since Leftover Salmon’s very first show, the band desperately needed a break and made arrangements for an indefinite hiatus. The big NYE concert felt like a conclusion, perhaps a proper ending to a very influential, dare we say important and just damn fun band. “The reality is Leftover Salmon is what we did for a living” says Herman. “We had families and we kind of had to keep feeding the beast, and the toll of that spiritually on the music was audible, so we had to pause to do other things and really get more in touch with ourselves as musicians and find out what direction we would go outside of Salmon.”
Herman created Great American Taxi and Emmitt a solo outfit (Drew Emmitt Band) as well as the Emmitt-Nershi Band with The String Cheese Incident’s Billy Nershi. There were a few Leftover Salmon reunion shows here and there starting with some festival engagements in 2007, but as the years went by and solo careers took off it appeared that Leftover Salmon, at least a fully-engaged Leftover Salmon, was a thing of the past. If Salmon had never played another note, the legacy would have been secure; the members’ names etched in the books of history. But today, more than two decades after Salmon first took shape, the band has a new album (Aquatic Hitchhiker). [less...]
They recently played with the Allman Brothers at Wanee Fest and then brought the house down at Warren Haynes’ Annual Christmas Jam, an invitation only Southern Rock homecoming. Their jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and once word of the live video hit the streets, sent new fans online to watch a supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. They’ve also performed with Warren Haynes, Phish, and have a tour scheduled with the aforementioned Lee Boys. Ronnie McCoury described it as “peanut butter and jelly.” It was just right.
They can push forward so far because their roots are so deep. The band has a confidence that only comes with having paid their dues with twenty years on the bluegrass road. Other groups and new fans hear this immediately—the tight rhythm, the soulful material, and the confidence in taking bluegrass from the safety of the shore into uncharted waters.
Ronnie says, “We like to go in and play traditional bluegrass music the way we do it with Dad, but we also like to be able to step into situations where we can really stretch out. If we need to plug in, we’ll plug in. We’re open to anything.”
It’s that attitude, backed up by talent, that marks great musicians, traditional or progressive. The Travelin’ McCourys are twenty-first century musical pilgrims and adventurers. They’re onto something new, just like Bill Monroe was in the 1940s, but now we can see and hear that adventure live or online. Go see them, or—if you hold still long enough—they’ll come to you. [less...]
Meta-fictional sea shanties. Pop-infused newgrass murder ballads and urbane lyricism. Twang and punch. Head for the Hills’ fourth record, Blue Ruin, fuses bluegrass, jazz, hip-hop and indie rock into songs inspired by love and misery and comic books. Featuring twelve new original songs marked by moving narratives and stellar musicianship, Blue Ruin showcases the quartet’s contemporary take on acoustic music; embracing the bluegrass pedigree while looking forward. Recorded and mixed in Fort Collins, Colorado at Swingfingers Studios with ace engineer and banjoist Aaron Youngberg (Martha Scanlan, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West), Blue Ruin features contributions from Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), James Thomas, Gabe Mervine (The Motet), and more. Renowned screen print artist Timothy Doyle (Muse, The Black Keys, Lucas Films, NASA) created the stunning cover art and Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer David Glasser rounds out the production team. This is Head for the Hills at their most artistically fulfilled: self-produced and in top form. Blue Ruin is more than just a “bluegrass” record—it’s a Head for the Hills record.
A quintessential Colorado band, Head for the Hills has been fortunate to work with many of the area greats, starting with Grammy Award winning Dobroist Sally Van Meter, producer of 2007’s Robber’s Roost. Legacy Colorado musician and Leftover Salmon mandolin player Drew Emmitt came in to produce 2010’s Head for the Hills. The list goes on, with a bevy of talent from Colorado and beyond surrounding 2010’s Head for the Hills; including Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The Raconteurs), technical wizard and Pink Floyd re-master engineer Gus Skinas, Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), Kyle James Hauser (Sonablast! Recording Artist) and keyboardist James Thomas, with String Cheese Incident guitarist and Colorado mainstay Billy Nershi rounding out the lineup as studio host and collaborator. In 2012 Head for the Hills released their first live record (Live). Captured in high fidelity sound & culled from 5 great nights in Colorado, Live is just that; the band live and unadorned, performing favorite original material and select covers.
Here are a few of the things people all over the country have been saying about Head for the Hills: “Cutting edge. Listeners will fully enjoy this unique sound,” Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon); “Head for the Hills possesses that secret ingredient,” Ryan Dembinsky (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track); “Critics Picks-What we think you should hear at SxSW,” (Austin Statesman/360.com); “Summer Stars” (Relix Magazine); “Fiery and precise – what modern bluegrass should be,” City Weekly (Salt Lake City, UT); “A very modern indie rock approach to bluegrass,” Daily Herald (Provo, UT); “Colorado Neo-bluegrassers Head for the Hills combine old and new and carry the torch for a new generation,” Ryan Heinsius (Flagstaff Live); “Rising stars of the acoustic string scene,” (BluegrassLA); “The band is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many of their predecessors, and in the process creating their chapter in the ever-continuing story of bluegrass,” (Marquee Magazine); “Reshaping the genre as a whole,” Sam Sanborn (Oregon Music News); “The name Head for the Hills connotes hightailing it, running away. Yeah right. From the growing crowd of fans in hot pursuit,” Susan Viebrock (Telluride Inside & Out); “Supremely satisfying,” Eric Podolsky (Jambase.com). [less...]
On the group’s 2006 debut EP “Verse/Visa”, The Haunted Windchimes presented what Denver Post journalist, Eryc Eyl, called “a beautiful chamber pop sound.” However, with 2010’s “Honey Moonshine,” the band “perfected an old-timey hoedown sound, executed with passion and precision.” May 2011, the band released “Live at the Western Jubilee,” a celebration of its career so far. Recorded in December 2010 at the Western Jubilee Warehouse, a legendary Colorado Springs venue, the record’s 13 tracks capture the five musicians in peak form in front of an appreciative audience. Their latest album, Out With the Crow, awarded album of the year by The Colorado Springs Independent in 2012, reflects “a barrel-aged maturation that punctuates their moonshine roots. The album and the band’s public performances make clear that The Haunted Windchimes aim to rekindle the flames of Americana music for generations to come,” writes Angus Edward (No Depression). [less...]
The members -- Silas Herman (mandolin), David Matters (banjo, vocals, guitar), Mackenzie Page (guitar, vocals, tenor banjo, washboard), Andrew Conley (cello), and Matt Cantor (bass) — all take rest in the windy mountains of Nederland, Colorado. When they are not on the move you can find them here, forming cantos high up in the Rockies, making herbal concoctions out of the local flora or sharing a glistening jug of homebrew around a blazing campfire. This is but a small glimpse into the source of their musical inspiration. The content of most of their lyrics is a tasteful blend of nature based love songs, anti-establishment sing-alongs and down home simplicity with a gentle kiss of civil disobedience.
They create music that is meant to plant inspiration in the soul and start a fire in the heart. They perform with the intention to build community and to invoke love in its wildest manifestation. They travel in order to experience life to its fullest and to build bridges that connect the frayed ends of the crumbling establishment to a new and beautiful way of existence. If one should ever come upon an opportunity to see Gipsy Moon, whether on the stage, in the woods or even sleeping in your back yard, they should be pleased at prospect of kicking off their shoes, smiling to the heavens and getting down and dirty to some rowdy ass picking. [less...]
Please note: The Milk Carton Kids have had to cancel their appearance at the 2014 Kinfolk Celebration. According to the official note from the band: "Due to vocal strain, The Milk Carton Kids regrettably have to cancel their August and September dates. Please accept our deepest apologies, Doctor's orders." We wish them well in their recovery.