Jeff Austin finds life beyond Yonder Mountain String Band

The Jeff Austin Band will play Boulder's Fox Theatre on Feb. 7. (Dorothy St. Claire / Courtesy photo)

The Jeff Austin Band will play Boulder’s Fox Theatre on Feb. 7. (Dorothy St. Claire / Courtesy photo)

By Quentin Young
Staff Writer
It’s been a transformative couple of years for Jeff Austin.

The 40-year-old former Yonder Mountain String Band frontman has a new band, a new child and a new lifestyle. And on Feb. 10, he plans to release The Simple Truth, his new band’s new album.

Fans will find touches of the Yonder-style bluegrass-rock on the 10-song album, but it’s clear Austin intended to stake out his own territory. He also took an attitude of letting the music happen naturally when he recorded the album in March 2014 at eTown in Boulder..

“I didn’t put limits on things so as not to limit the musicians who were working on it,” Austin said during an interview Wednesday. “You can really have fun in the studio and let the record stand on its own.”

Austin’s new band includes Lyons-based bass master Eric Thorin, as well as Danny Barnes on banjo and Ross Martin on guitar. Guest artists on the album include the Royal Horns from Memphis, percussionist Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and guitarist Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee.

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Local fans will get to experience Austin’s new material Saturday, Feb. 7, when the Jeff Austin Band performs at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. Sarah Siskind and Caribou Mountain Collective will open the show. The Jeff Austin Band also has a Denver show the night before, at the Bluebird Theater. Then they head to the Midwest and East Coast, and they plan to tour extensively throughout the year.

Quitting drugs three years ago has been one of the biggest changes in Austin’s life. Barnes was one of several people who helped Austin get sober simply by being there for him.

“I had a lot of people who I had to be held accountable to,” Austin said. “When you take the step to stop, you’ve got to have those people.”

He and his wife, Devlyn, are raising two daughters — a 1-year-old and a 7-year-old — and family life has given Austin new purpose.

“Being alive is pretty freakin’ awesome,” he said. “I always have glitter on my face or pink marker on my hand.”

The family lives outside Nederland, where the Yonder Mountain String Band was based as it rose to national fame. But Austin is planning a move to Washington, where Devlyn’s family is from.

Though the first Jeff Austin Band album isn’t out yet, Austin already is thinking ahead.

“The next one is already written,” he said.

Quentin Young: 303-473-1109, quentin@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/qpyoungnews

If you go

What: Jeff Austin Band, with Sarah Siskind and Caribou Mountain Collective

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7

Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder

Tickets: $22-$25

Info: foxtheatre.com

Coming soon: The Jeff Austin Band performs in Second Story Garage

 
 

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Your host Quentin Young, reporter at the Times-Call (Longmont), and Daily Camera (Boulder) respectively.

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