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Colorado “New Grass” quartet Yonder Mountain String Band has achieved the near impossible – the group has perfected a fusion of traditional Appalachian music with rootsy folk and a jam-band aesthetic, without coming across as the least bit trend-hopping. Think of the band as Mumford & Sons minus the goofy 1800s outfits and the half-baked pop tunes. The guys in Yonder Mountain – guitarist/vocalist Adam Aijala, mandolin player/singer Jeff Austin, banjo player Dave Johnston and bassist/singer Ben Kaufmann – are virtuosos as individual players, and skilled veterans when it comes to ensemble interplay. They play roots music without donning the mantle of roots-revivalists.

Yonder Mountain is only playing a few select dates this summer, most of them at major festivals. We’re lucky that one of the band’s few dates is a show tonight as part of the Thursday at Canalside series. Yonder Mountain will be joined by Railroad Earth, beginning at 5 p.m. This is the first time Yonder Mountain has played an area outdoor stage since its dynamic and riveting gig at Lafayette Square in 2008.

Admission is free.

– Jeff Miers