Jeff Austin, the mandolinist, singer, and co-founder of the Yonder Mountain String Band passed away on June 24th. He was 45.
Jeff Austin was born in Illinois, U.S., and went to the University of Cincinnati. He met Dave Johnston, the banjoist, and played in his band called The Bluegrassholes. Later, when they both moved to Nederland, Colorado, they reached the guitarist Adam Aijala and bassist Ben Kaufmann in a club called Verve and formed Yonder Mountain String. On April 23rd, 2014, Austin left the band.
The Yonder Mountain String Band took to Facebook to share their condolence at a loss, “We are saddened to report that we have lost our brother Jeff Austin. Remembering the incredible times and magical moments puts us at a profound loss for words. While we honor his memory, we will continue to pray for his family, and for the journey, they now face without him. If you’d like to lend them a hand,”
Their music opened up the pioneering genre of progressive bluegrass scene. The ability of the usage of instruments and their wild adventuress spirit paved the way for other artists who took upon the mantle.
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a beloved family member, mandolinist, singer, songwriter and…
Austin released his solo album, The Simple Truth, in 2015. He formed a band called Jeff Austin Band and toured all over the country since 2014.
To quote from the Rolling Stone article on Austin: “The Infamous Stringdusters opened up for Yonder in our early years, and they taught us what was possible as an acoustic bluegrass band to be presented as a rock band,” Jeremy Garrett, Grammy-winning singer/fiddler for the Infamous Stringdusters, told Rolling Stone Country. “Jeff Austin was a huge part of presenting bluegrass as a rock show. It’s tragic. We’re all going to miss him and his profound influence on our scene.”