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Yonder Mountain String Band

Mountain Tracks: Volume 2 – 2002 (Frog Pad)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Yonder Mountain String Band

They may have the almost-bluegrass lineup of banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass, but Yonder Mountain is apparently a far piece from Clinch Mountain. Part of the growing legion of young jam bands that use bluegrass and old time music as a jumping off point for their wanky excursions into endless instrumental noodling, this Colorado quartet certainly have all the right influences. On this live album they tackle John Hartford ("Two Hits and The Joint Turned Brown"), include a traditional song ("Raleigh and Spencer"), and add a couple of unlikely, more contemporary covers - a sprightly take on Waylon and Willie's "Good Hearted Woman" and a faithful rendition of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations."

Like many live discs, it is a safe bet that the shows these tracks were taken from were high energy, highly enjoyable affairs. At upwards of 10, 11, and even 26 minutes, the interest level wanes well before the songs, and the album's, end. (Forg Pad, 3093 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304)