Yonder Mountain String Band to Headline Suwannee Springfest

By Phil Sunkel | gargoyle@flagler.edu

This years Suwannee Springfest, held March 22-25 in Live Oak, Fla., will be headlined by Yonder Mountain String band. Yonder recently stopped through North Fla. at Freebird Live on their Cabin Fever Tour in support of their 2009 release “The Show”. Adam from Yonder sat down with the Gargoyle to discuss headlining Springfest, Florida, and festivals.

Adam from Yonder plays to sold-out crowd at Freebird Live in Jax Beach, Fla. on Febraury 19.

PS: First and foremost I have to ask, when can we expect a new record?

Adam: Expect something new within a year. We have a ton of material that we already play live thats not even a year old. We also have a lot of stuff in the works. We definitely have the material, its just a matter of finding the time to record.

PS: Yonder has played the Suwannee music park before, what do you think about it?

Adam: Its actually a really cool location for start. thats the thing about festivals in general, its always nice to be outside with all the big old oak trees and what not. I remember having a good time last time. Its got kind of a back-porch homey feel, which is something we try to create with our shows. I don’t necessarily mean back-porch but just try to make people feel at home, like a living room type atmosphere. I think Suwannee does a really good job of creating that, with the outdoors, the vibe, the location, and the people who come.

PS: What bands are you looking forward to at Springfest?

I was just taking a look at the lineup. I don’t know what days these guys are all gonna be there, so I don’t know who we’re gonna see play. Jim Lauderdale is on there, Great American Taxi, Stringdusters, Greensky, They’re all friends of ours.

PS: What are some of the other festivals you are looking forward to?

We have the standard that we’ve been playing every year that I look forward to. We’ve got Northwest String Summit, Harvest Fest. Those three are really nice cause we get to hang out the whole time, you really get soaked into the whole experience.

Delfest, first time we went to that I was pretty blown away. Obviously we’ve got Suwannee, Summer Camp, you know there really isn’t a festival that i’ve seen on our schedule that I’m not looking forward to playing. Like I said before, I prefer to play outdoors anyway. Its just a better vibe, I think in the end you get a different crowd everywhere you go with different levels of partying depending on the festival.

PS: How has the Cabin Fever tour been going so far?

Adam: The shows have been great, the turnouts have been good. We didn’t have Ben for the first three shows. We had Travis Book from the dusters playing bass for us, that was a lot of work for us and him. We ended up doing a couple repeats but we really tried not to. He ended up learning about 65 songs in three days.He had a little bit of live music before but we didn’t make a list of songs or anything, so he powered through. Its funny writing work charts for songs for 10-12 years and trying to remember the song. the songs are so ingrained in your head that when your writing them out its like how did that go? Its funny you almost don’t even think about it. thats one of the things I especially get a kick out of. Like when I’m out singing harmonies, I’m like who sings that part? Do I sing the high or the low part?

PS: Are you happy to be in Florida?

Adam: Always psyched to come down here, the rest of the country is freezing. Generally its pretty warm down here, it seems pretty nice today. Gonna see my folks, they live south of Tampa this time of year.My mom might come to the show tonight, I don’t think so but she might. Im meeting up with both my folks and then they’ll take me to the show on saturday.

PS: What are your feelings on Freebird Live? Your show is sold out after all

Adam: I like playing there, Freebird Cafe, Its a fun place. My folks will be at that show as well. Im gonna spend a couple days in Tampa and then maybe meet the bus in Charleston.

PS: What are some of the differences you noticed from moving from Massachusets out west to Colorado?

Adam: When I first moved out west I always thought, man people are so much cooler. Whenever I go back east now I realize I think people are cool everywhere. It might have been my age, the way I perceive things or maybe people act different towards you when your younger. Whenever I go back to Massachusetts, even to Boston, people are cool. People in Boulder can be really pretentious and self absorbed. Its weird. everyones gotta be cool out there, its sunny all the time. I have a lot of good friends in Boulder, don’t get me wrong, Boulders filled with a lot of cool folks. But you know you hold the door for someone and they don’t even pay attention to you. its like how about a thank you? I think the point being is people are people anywhere you go. The music scene is different but we actually do well in places like Boston and Burlington, VT.

PS: How do you think festivals change people?

You know, thats an interesting question. Just trying to be clever and funny I guess, when you’re young and you go and you go do some drugs I guess that could change you. I remember going to Burlington reggae fest when I was 17 and it changed me in a way that I don’t know if it was the music. In all seriousness when you think about, I don’t know if its the festivals that change6 me. I get sentimental in looking forward to them Especially Telluride, my wife works down telluride so we get to hang out around town before all the crowd comes in. I play some golf when I’m down there, Its like a working-vacation cause usually we play around three shows.

Im not even really sure about how a festival would change you. I guess it could get you into a lot of kinds of music, depending on what kind of festivals you go to. You go to a festival and either hear a specific band that you’ve never heard before that will move you because the music or the lyrics really relate to you or you could go to a Coachella type thing and go see bands that you’ve never heard before.

Well how would you answer that?

PS: When I got to college I had never been to a festival. One of my friends was like “you know theres this great festival called Bear Creek, you should really come with”. I had never heard of it before, I had never even heard of any of the bands but I ended up going. My mind was completely blown by the different types of music. Bands like The New Mastersounds, The New Deal, Lettuce, Soulive. Just as a whole I think all the music just changed the way I feel about seeing live music in general. Hearing these bands on CD wouldn’t do any of those bands justice. I would say its the same thing for any band that plays festivals. its something about seeing bands in an atmosphere where the vibes are so positive and everybody just wants to be together. From the second you step into a festival its almost like walking into another world. Walking into that different world changes me every time I get there.

Adam: I think the thing about a festival is you might be going to see a couple specific bands, but your not going for all of them. So you do get your mind open to new stuff. I don’t think it changes my personality necessary but it define turns me on to music. Which as a musician its always nice to be inspired by new stuff.

Some of the other bands and musicians playing this years Springfest include: Donna The Buffalo, Emmitt Nershi Band, Justin Townes Earle, Tony Rice, Whetherman, Hot buttered Rum, Tornado Rider, The Infamous Stringdusters, Great American Taxi and many more.

For a full lineup of this years Springfest please visit: suwanneespringfest.com/lineup

For more info on Yonder Mountain String Band please visit: yondermountain.com

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