Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, May 18

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Preview: Miike Snow @ The Congress Theater 10/17 Preview: Experimental and Improvised Music by Chicago Latino Composers @ Elastic Arts Foundation 10/21 »

Concert Wed Oct 17 2012

Spend Two Nights With Yonder Mountain This Weekend

One of the benefits of living in Chicago is that with the slightest effort, the city will deliver up on whatever scene you could possibly desire. While seemingly not quite as well-publicized as some other, perhaps more indigenous genres, the bluegrass scene is surprisingly vibrant, owing to talented home-grown bands such as Sexfist and Flatland Ramble who keep the scene interesting with regular performances around town, and the occasional guerrilla jam at random illegal back-alley microbreweries. For devotees of the bluegrass scene, and there are plenty in cultural Mecca that is Chicago, this weekend will provide a special treat as Colorado-based neo-bluegrass jammers Yonder Mountain String Band play a two night stand at The House of Blues this Friday and Saturday.

To look at the band, made up of Adam Aijala on guitar, Dave Johnston on banjo, Jeff Austin on mandolin, and Ben Kaufman on bass, one might expect them to stick to the script and play traditional bluegrass, or perhaps to dabble in the sort of pyrotechnic "newgrass" of legends such as New Grass Revival, but that would be selling them short, as their latest album, 2009's The Show amply demonstrates. While the band is indisputably technically proficient, and is capable of delivering on that promise on more traditional leaning numbers such as "Out of the Blue," Yonder's music really gets interesting when the songwriting dips into the group's rock influences, lending a funked-up swing to the classic instrumentation. Songs like "Steep Grade, Sharp Curves" seem an obvious tip-of-the-hat to classic mid-'50s country music, while others with a more obvious modern feel such as "Belle Parker" and "Complicated" sound a little like what you'd get if you crossed indie-rock with a front porch jug band. While there is nothing at all wrong with their recorded output, Yonder Mountain's forte has always been the live show, where they can truly blend their extremely diverse musical influences and launch on interesting excursions and distractions highlighting both their chops, and their whimsy.

Yonder Mountain String Band plays two shows at the House of Blues Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $26 in advance, $30 the day of the show, or available as a two-day pass for $49. Brown Bird opens. The House of Blues is located at 329 N. Dearborn St.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15