When the temperatures drop and the snow falls, that’s usually a sign that music festival season is on a break. But some bands such as Yonder Mountain String Band take their show south of the border to warmer climates, and the fans are joining in on the fun.
Yonder headlines the second annual Strings & Sol destination festival through Dec. 15 at the Now Sapphire Resort in Puerto Morelos on the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Besides Yonder, the event features multiple performances from other progressive bluegrass act including Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams with the Travelin’ McCourys and Greensky Bluegrass.
Williams’ appearance with the McCourys, the first family of traditional bluegrass, is one of many musical personalities he inhabits during his current tour. Over the course of a two-month slate of dates to end 2013 he also plays:
-- his solo looping performances
--with His Compadres (Michael Kang and Michael Travis of the String Cheese Incident, Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon)
--with Tim and Nicki Bluhm and then Grateful Grass (Jeff Austin of Yonder Mountain String Band and Keith Moseley of The String Cheese Incident) for the Rex Foundation Annual Benefit
--with Steve Kimock and John Morgan Kimock for his annual Fredericksburg Regional SPCA Benefit.
--with his funk band More Than A Little.
“I just love playing all different kinds of music with all different kinds of people, not getting locked into any musical marriage where there has to be anything awkward,” said Williams. “Just keeping it loose and playing less with more people makes it so…it’s exciting every time I come back to it. It’s not like something where it lasts so long you get over it and burnt out and the next thing you’re not talking to these people. It’s really cool to be able to go and do a weekend with these folks and then play a couple weekends solo, and then go do a weekend with these other…it just makes it so much fun for me.
“And every aspect helps the other. The more I play solo the more I want to go play with other people and vice versa. It helps the creativity. The fact that I’m able to do it, I’m so grateful to be able to do what I do and for the people that allow me to be in their lives.”
At last July’s All Good Music Festival, Williams with the Travelin’ McCourys played a mixture of traditional bluegrass fare as well as covers by Modest Mouse (“Float On”), My Morning Jacket (“I’m Amazed”), Jessie J (“Price Tag”), Foster the People (“Pumped Up Kicks”) and several by the Grateful Dead including “Me and My Uncle” and “Candyman.”
For more information on Strings & Sol, visit http://stringsandsol.com.