While most bluegrass bands have a sound that is easily identifiable, Colorado's Yonder Mountain String Band mixes elements of rock, pop, country and bluegrass with vocal harmonies and something that is inexplicably theirs.
"We don't really have a term for it. It's just the Yonder Mountain Sound. Elvis didn't call it rock 'n' roll; somebody else did that," said Dave Johnston, the band's banjo player and vocalist.
The band's fourth studio CD rocks without the benefit of amps or electricity and employs both psychedelic vibes and traditional bluegrass harmonies. It's no wonder, considering the band is a fan of such contemporary cohorts as Wilco and Son Volt.
"Writing is a constant thing that's there for us," Johnston said, "It's a fun thing to do together." As for where the band's trademark catchiness comes from, Johnston confided with a laugh, "I don't know where you get catchiness."
A new album may not be immediately forthcoming, but as with the freeform style of the band's writing process, it could happen anytime.
"Nothing is in the works, but things are always in the works," said Johnston. "Usually we just throw things at the wall and see what sticks." "Tracy M. Rogers