On Monday night, family, friends, and fans gathered at Broomfield, CO’s 1stBank Center for What The Night Brings, an evening of music, remembrance, and community in honor of the late Jeff Austin. The lengthy, two-set performance included an all-star cast of musicians performing their favorite Jeff Austin songs from his time in Yonder Mountain String Band and beyond, as well as original tunes from their respective bands and fan-favorite covers.
To kick off the first set, Sam Bush, Billy Strings, Noah Pikelny (Punch Brothers), and Greg Garrison (Leftover Salmon) gathered at the front of the stage and led the crowd through “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”, honoring Jeff’s love for baseball. With Jeff being an avid Chicago Cubs fan, Bush invited the crowd to sing along and substitute “Root, root, root for the home team” with “Root, root, root for the Cubbies.”
Sam Bush, Billy Strings, Noah Pikelny, Greg Garrison – “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” [Pro-Shot] – 11/4/19
Quickly-executed production changes were the name of the game last night, as Mimi Naja (Fruition) and Jeff Austin Band members Jean Luc Davis, Kyle Tuttle, and Julian Davis emerged on stage and worked through YMSB’s “Steep Grades, Sharp Curves”. Following a bluegrass number played by Naja, Bridget Law (Elephant Revival), Carey Harmon (Railroad Earth), and Lindsey Lou, Keller Williams and Keith Moseley (The String Cheese Incident) kept the high-energy momentum flowing as they knocked Jeff’s “New Horizons” out of the park.
Keller Williams & Keith Moseley – “New Horizons” [Pro-Shot] – 11/4/19
Following a brief production change, the next segment of the first set featured three of the bluegrass scene’s ever-evolving bands, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Greensky Bluegrass. Salmon worked through a powerful rendition of their own “Troubled Times” and the classic “The Boatman’s Dance”, which was regularly covered by YMSB and Jeff. The Dusters quickly swapped in for Salmon and offered up a take on YMSB’s “Cuckoo’s Nest” and their own “Rise Sun”, the title track off of their recently released studio album. Greensky then emerged and ran through two Jeff Austin tunes, “Peace Of Mind” and “To Say Goodbye, To Be Forgiven”.
Leftover Salmon – “Troubled Times” – 11/4/19
[Video: Kyle Isaac]
The Infamous Stringdusters – “Rise Sun” – 11/4/19
[Video: Brian Band]
Greensky Bluegrass – “Peace of Mind” [Pro-Shot] – 11/4/19
With the first set coming to a close, Greensky’s Anders Beck remained on stage and was joined by Sam Bush for a take on Little Feat‘s “Sailin’ Shoes”, which Sam dedicated to both Jeff and the late Paul Barrere. Sam and Anders were then joined by Garrison, Harmon, Jeremy Garrett (The Infamous Stringdusters), Pikelny, and Billy Strings for a set-closing rendition of The Band‘s “Up On Cripple Creek”.
Sam Bush, Anders Beck, Greg Garrison, Carey Harmon, Jeremy Garrett, Noam Pikelny, & Billy Strings – “Up On Cripple Creek” [The Band]
[Video: Brian Band]
The second set began with Todd Snider offering up a captivating solo take on his own “Sideshow Blues”, a song Jeff was known to cover, which immediately got the crowd focused and ready for the remainder of the performance.
Todd Snider – “Sideshow Blues” [Pro-Shot] – 11/4/19
Next up was a pair of 30db tunes performed by co-founding member Brendan Bayliss (Umphrey’s McGee), alongside Nick Forster (Hot Rize) and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), who backed Bayliss and Austin in the studio and toured beside them in support of the side project’s debut studio album, One Man Show. The trio offered up “Backfire” and “Susanah”, highlighted by some delicate vocal harmonies between Bayliss and Forster.
Up next was a “CheeseDusters” performance of SCI’s “Restless Wind” featuring Bill Nershi (The String Cheese Incident), Moseley, Garrett, Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), and Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters). Naja, Pikelny, and Strings reemerged with Travis Book (The Infamous Stringdusters) to run through a take on Jeff’s “Sorrow Is A Highway”, off of Yonder’s 2001 Town by Town album. Iconic Colorado-based bluegrass quartet Hot Rize took the stage next and worked through their original “Your Light Leads Me On” and the classic “High On A Mountaintop”.
Hot Rize – “Your Light Leads Me On” [Pro-Shot] – 11/4/19
The current iteration of Yonder Mountain String Band, the group Jeff Austin founded alongside Dave Johnston, Adam Aijala, and Ben Kaufmann in 1998, took the stage next. Yonder’s performance began with Kaufmann exclaiming to the crowd, “We’d like to begin with Jeff’s most famous number, and it’s a damn good one…”, as the quintet dove into “Half Moon Rising”. YMSB continued with “Keep On Going” before inviting Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon) onstage to take the vocal lead on “Ramblin’ In The Rambler”. Midway through the jam, the majority of the night’s cast of musicians joined Yonder and Herman onstage to take a celebratory shot of Jägermeister for Jeff Austin.
Yonder Mountain String Band – “Half Moon Rising” – 11/4/19
[Video: Kyle Isaac]
The second set continued with Strings and Bryan Sutton (Hot Rize) running through “That’s Where I Belong”, which was followed up by The Travelin’ McCourys performing “Passin’ Thru” and “Things In Life”. Prior to the grand finale, Railroad Earth honored two of Austin’s songs, “Even Fade” and “What The Night Brings”, with the latter featuring Tuttle on banjo. For the final tune of the night, the all-star cast of musicians gathered on stage together and capped off the mind-bending night of music with The Rolling Stones‘ “No Expectations”.
Railroad Earth ft. Kyle Tuttle – “What The Night Brings” [Pro-Shot]
What The Night Brings – “No Expectations” [Rolling Stones]
[Video: Brian Band]
Enjoy a gallery of photos from Monday night’s show below courtesy of photographer Elliot Siff.
Setlist: What The Night Brings: Jeff Austin Tribute |1stBank Center | Broomfield, CO | 11/4/2019
Take Me Out to the Ball Game “Go Cubs” (Albert Von Tilzer) – Sam Bush, Billy Strings, Noah Pikelny (Punch Bros), Greg Garrison
Steep grades, Sharp curves (YMSB) – Jean Luc Davis, Mimi Naja (Fruition), Kyle Tuttle, Julian Davis………
Unknown song w/ Carey Harmon (RRE), Bridget Law (Elephant Revival), Mimi Naja(Fruition), Lindsey Lou
Soundcheck Jam – Keller Williams, Keith Moseley
New Horizons- Keller Williams, Keith Moseley
Troubled Times – Leftover Salmon
The Boatman’s Dance – Leftover Salmon
Cuckoo’s Nest – Infamous Stringdusters
Rise Sun – Infamous Stringdusters
Peace of Mind – Greensky Bluegrass
To Say Goodbye, To Be Forgiven- Greensky Bluegrass
Sailin Shoes – Sam Bush, Anders Beck
Up on Cripple Creek – Greg Garrison, Carey Harmon (RRE), Jeremy Garrett (ISD), Noam Pikelny, Billy Strings, Sam Bush, Anders Beck (Greensky)
Sideshow Blues – Todd Snider
Backfire – Brendan Bayliss (UM), Cody Dickinson (NMA) , Nick Forster (Hot Rize)
Susanah – Brendan Bayliss (UM), Cody Dickinson (NMA), Nick Forster ( Hot Rize)
Restless Wind – Bill Nershi (SCI), Keith Moseley (SCI) Andy Hall (ISD), Jeremy Garrett (ISD), Chris Pandolfi (ISD)
Sorrow is a Highway – Noam Pikelny (Punch Bros), Billy Strings, Mimi Naja (Fruition), Travis Book (ISD)
Your Light Leads me On – Hot Rize
High on a Mountain – Hot Rize
Half Moon Rising – YMSB
Keep on Going – YMSB
Ramblin’ In The Rambler – YMSB w/ Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon)
Jager Shot with all members of the show – Cheers Jeff!
That’s Where I Belong – Billy Strings and Bryan Sutton
Passin’ Thru – The Travelin’ Mccourys
Things in Life – The Travelin’ Mccourys
Even Fade – Railroad Earth
What the Night Brings – Railroad Earth w/ Kyle Tuttle
No Expectations – Many individuals on stage all with instrumentation devices