Photo Credit: Robin Vega Photography

Centennial State jamgrass staples Yonder Mountain String Band have revealed a previously unheard collection, one of the final studio projects featuring the original lineup: Adam Aijala, Dave Johnston, Ben Kaufmann, and the late Jeff Austin. A five-track EP, I’d Like Off, provides a unique look at a specific time in the group’s history and touches on their interconnectedness, a dedication to sincere storytelling through songwriting. 

Known for dynamic live shows–bold/emotive bluegrass expression–Yonder Mountain String Band draws on its ability to tug the heartstrings, taking the listener on an impactful sonic journey using experience as a source of relatability. Written and recorded during a period when mental health awareness and support were lacking in the music industry, the band pulls back the curtain, revealing a lay of darkness we all possess while still holding space for compassion. 

Fans of the band might be familiar with the compositional makeup of I’d Like Off, considering numbers off the EP’s tracklist have surfaced during the Yonder Mountain’s live shows since 2010. Today’s release opens with “Ripcord Blues” before following up with the stirring “What the Night Brings.” A hopeful “Pockets,” levels uncertainty with humor before ending with the title track, “I’d Like Off,” which staunchly suggests that to overcome mental health adversity, one must face the challenge head-on. 

Yonder Mountain String Band currently features Aijala, Kaufmann, Dave Johnston, Nick Piccininni, and Coleman Smith. Their latest offering, the Grammy-nominated Get Yourself Outside, doubled as the sonic introduction to new member Piccininni in 2022. 

For artists, resources concerning mental health and well-being are available via Backline. Visit this page for a list of supportive options.  

If you are someone you know is struggling with self-worth, help is available 24/7 by calling or texting 988, the Suicide and Crisis Hotline.

I’d Like Off Tracking List:

  1. Ripcord Blues
  2. What the Night Brings
  3. Pockets
  4. Don’t Lean on Me
  5. I’d Like Off