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Published: 2014/02/12
by Jordan Smith

Yonder Mountain String Band, Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, FL- 1/31

Yonder Mountain String Band played two rousing sets in St. Petersburg, Florida last Friday night, after cancelling shows due to the weather and spending five consecutive days on their tour bus. Despite a chilly and wet evening, they played to a large, energetic crowd at Jannus Live. The Travelin McCoury’s opened the show, fresh from a Grammy win with Del McCoury. They warmed the audience up along with Andy Falco of the Infamous Stringdusters.

The freeze that shut down most of the Southeast caused YMSB to cancel their Pensacola show January 29. Parts of I-10 were shut down in the panhandle, which led to rerouted traffic and delays. While en route to Jacksonville the following night, they made a tough call and decided to head south to St. Pete while the Travelin’ McCoury’s played two sets at Freebird Live. Another show with both bands has been rescheduled at Freebird for February 9.

On this evening in St. Pete Yonder opened with “Troubled Mind” to a chorus of cheers, and in their unique jamgrass style, moved into “20 Eyes.” The lights and stage were set up impeccably for the show, including a giant shade which kept many dry when the rain started to fall. YMSB’s killer version of “I Know You Rider” had the crowd singing along, and the shower soon passed.

Mandolinist Jeff Austin has been enjoying time at home with his wife and newborn daughter, but Robbie McCoury and Falco joined the band for the last three songs of the first set, including “Pretty Daughter” with a “Looking Back Over My Shoulder” segue in the middle. After a thirty minute set break, the band came out running with “Freeborn Man” and “Wheel Hoss” sidled in. A heartfelt “Don’t Worry Happy Birthday” mellowed the audience for a few minutes with hugs and slow dances. YMSB brought everyone back on their toes with “Damned if the Right One Didn’t Go Wrong.”

McCoury and Falco returned to the stage for the last two of the second set, “On the Run” and “Kentucky Mandolin.” The everyone came back out for an upbeat “Walking Shoes” encore, a perfect finish to a wildly entertaining night, surely as fun for the band as it was for the crowd. They mentioned more than once the joy they felt finally being able to play live after being on the bus all week.

This tour continues with The Travelin’ McCoury’s through mid-February (including this Sunday’s rescheduled show in Jacksonville). Jeff Austin will return with the band in March, as they continue to travel relentlessly, spreading their one-of-a-kind sound and “kinfolk” vibes. Not all who yonder are lost!

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