Baltimore Soundstage - Baltimore, MD (July 12, 2012)

written by Kelli Scott

Hot Fun In The Summertime! What a nice break ~ Enjoying a sunny, summertime day off from work and a drive up to the city. This week's weather pattern had shifted, which gave many east coasters the welcoming relief of a cool breeze from the North.  The high for the day was capped in the mid to upper 80's. All of VA and MD had been feeling the effects of a severe derecho, which shut down electricity across a great deal of the mid-Atlantic, followed by an extreme heat wave. Power had finally been restored after being out for more than a week. 

We left the Blue Ridge around 10am with the intention of getting into Baltimore early that afternoon, but I-495 had different plans for us.  This country mouse does not do well in the DC/Baltimore traffic. Really, to say traffic would imply some movement in a forward direction, but this situation would be more aptly described as the slow crawling parking lot of 495. Note to self... drive through WVA next time.  We got into town around 6pm... a little rattled, but happy to be there. Derek came up from Richmond. We all met at the hotel to freshen up, and decide where we would get some drinks.  I said, "I don't care... I just want it to have a full bar...", so where did we end up? Hooters! I had a couple of drinks with Jamie and Derek, and then headed over to meet the Katz family at the venue. As I walked up, I was happy to see Kurt, Justin, Tom, and of course The Katz Pack.  It was great to see Jim and Annie, as always, but Harry was in town from CO, and Jim's sister, Robin, had also joined the group. It was so uplifting to see happy, smiling Kinfolk. It made fighting all the traffic worth it. This was just the beginning of what would turn into an amazing night!

Soundstage was a new venue for me. Ram's Head Live was always the venue for inside the Harbor area of Baltimore. I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a box of a room, with low ceilings... no balcony area. The soundboard and taping area were in the middle of the room, with a small bar off to each side. Scotty and the merch table were set up beside the bar to the left of the room. It was very warm in the venue. I've been to some hot shows, but this was my first experience with Bikram Yonder. It made me dig down deep, but once the show began, the sweat started rolling---and I was once again transported by the magical energy of YMSB!

The show started around 9:30pm. The boys walked out and one thing I noticed right off the bat was everyone had joined Adam in wearing a black tee-shirt and jeans. Everyone's tee was plain, except Ben was sporting a Cain's logo on the front. I didn't quite make the connection at that moment, but the unconscious wardrobe choice was fitting, and just the beginning of what would turn into a Jerry inspired night. :) The show opened up with a down and dirty, yet vulnerable, "Whipping Post". The boys were playing strong and hard. Jeff unloaded all the emotions of the week into the vocals of song. "Little Rabbit" followed right behind "WP", which got everyone into a happy, dancing mood. The crowd was starting to feel a groove; you could see a unified bounce across the room with the blissful beats of "LR".  Welcomes and Thanks to the crowd for coming out rounded off the opening of the show. 

It was time to get to business, and DHJ is just the man to 'close the deal' with "Little Lover". At the end of this song, it hit me with full acceptance of how hot the evening was going to be!  It was only the 3rd song, and I was already drenched with sweat. :) At that point, you can't fight it, you have to 'surrender to the flow' and open your mind and body up to what is to come... just keep drinking water and breathe. Yonder is the best workout, EVAH!!! Ben cooled the crowd down with the powerful "Finally Saw The Light". This song always makes me think of my great friend, and everyone's favorite rail riding buddy, Mr. Michael Walker. Next, it was Adam's turn to sing a tune about the realities of "All the Time". I love the lyrics of this song. "No Expectations" followed, dedicated to one of the most sincere members of the Kinfolk community, and overall, one of the greatest Moms out there. She is the one to call when you are in need, Ms. Annie Katz! The interwoven solos of "NE" were super tight, synergising into a beautifully blended tune. 

Photo courtesy of Harry Katz

The crowd pleaser of "Sidewalk Stars"> "Ain't Been Myself in Years" was mid 1st set. We were accompanied by Willow, a 12 year old girl, and her dad on the rail for the entire show. She was singing every word of "SS". They were troopers. She sang and danced all night, and she was so happy when Jeff gave her his pick at the end of the 2nd set. :) You could see she was hooked by her first show, and now she has so many more to look forward to! 

Benny Galloway's big "Winds of Wyoming" began the bottom of the first set. Dave reminded us of the old cowboy 'sitting on the back of a horse on a worn out saddle, singin' a sweet country song'. Oh, Burle... you know to write 'em! Adam also took us back in time with stories from the war in "Father's Arms". And then, out of nowhere and to my ecstatic surprise, Jeff hit the opening chord to my beloved "Ragdoll". Oh Baby, that song is so HOT, HOT, HOT! The groove will never get old to me... good thing, cause it seems like I've gotten it at every venue I've visited in 2012. :):):) It was great! Harry got a full video of this one.

The first set wrapped up with Ben's "Mother's Only Son". This one was really special to the Katz family, due to the fact that Harry, their only son, was back home for the weekend. This tune sets the stage and begins to express the deep emotions of The Sheriff Saga. It is always delivered so well... And it never fails, the rifts and solos that make up the middle of "MOS" finds a way to repeatedly melt and convert my psyche into a state of total freedom and openness. I'm sure I've mentioned in previous reviews that Dave is ON FIRE these days. :) Hell, they all seem to be ON FIRE and bringing their BEST GAME. Ben was dropping bombs all night, but he was hitting it extra hard on "MOS". Thanks so much Boys, Keep it Coming~ 

Halftime consisted of lots of water and trying to cool down, but it didn't work too well... IT WAS HOT in the venue. The heat had nowhere to go, due to the low ceiling. The second set opened with remarks of the great energy in the room, and with one of my first Yonder loves, "Too Late Now". Man, that song has gotten me through some tough times! It gives me the energy and perseverance to keep going, look ahead to the future, and the wisdom to be thankful for what I have. Thanks Mr. Austin~

Next, Dave pulled out The Stump for the very danceable, "Just the Same". It is not too hard to 'lose yourself right where you are...' when this tune is played. The guys got into a tight group, and there was a great exchange between Dave and Adam. 


Now, it was Ben's turn to rock it out with "Had to Leave My Boots Behind". This song has a fast tempo and rock-n-roll feel. I don't hear it a lot, but it's a great jam. Jeff gave a huge shout out to Brendan Bayliss on the birth of his baby boy. He then reminded us of a "Classic Situation". Ben remarked, again, on the fantastic, amazing energy in the room, and how it must be the crab cakes! Dave then did a little impromptu vocal solo in honor of Gram Parsons with a line from "The Streets of Baltimore". :):):) Two great Ben tunes were to follow with "Lord Only Knows" and "Things You're Selling". Kaufmann approaches his lyrics as a poet. He has such a thoughtful, beautiful, and unique way of telling a story. Ben also inspires us all to look within for a deep, honest, and more meaningful path as we keep 'searching for the light'. Dave then lit up his 5 string with "Easy as Pie", and gave us something to hop, skip, and jump to.


Jeff gave a wonderful tribute to Ben Boniface. I did not know Ben personally, but his friends and family were in the audience. He lost his life earlier this summer in a car accident on a country road in Hartford County, MD. He was only 20 years old. His brother was front and center for the tribute and an "Althea" that I can't really describe. This song is always loaded with a flood of great memories for so many reasons, but this one was extra emotional... very moving. The entire crowd felt it, but Ben's family and friends really felt it! Ben loved Yonder and bluegrass music. He played guitar and mandolin. A shout out from one of his favorite bands was a wonderful, happy, and unforgettable way for his peeps to celebrate his life! What a special moment. The crowd's roar sent a wave of energy through the room, and chills down my entire body. This was an "Althea" for the scrapbooks. Followed by a poignant, "This Train is Bound for Glory" to end the tribute to Boniface. 


Now, it was time for a few old-time covers. The first from the bad ass Danny Barnes, with "Going Where They Do Not Know My Name". Then big smiles could be seen all around when Adam pulled out the Osborne Brother's "Big Spike Hammer". The bluegrass cover trilogy was completed with the famous, and always enjoyable "Country Boy Rock N Roll". Then, Adam broke into a familiar solo that led into the epic "Dawn's Early Light". The classic lyrics of this song sound like they were written so long ago... It's like the plot to an old western movie. Great job, Jeff, this one never disappoints! And the only thing that could make "Dawn's" better is to be followed by a spaced out, rocking "Robots" jam... it took me to another planet.


The out of this world jam of "Robots" was brought back to earth by a good ole' "Boatman". We all joyfully danced out the end of the show. The encore was not written on the setlist. The boys wanted to feel it out, and they brought the house down with "Fire on the Mountain". First, it was "Althea" and now, "FOTM". The energy of this show was unbelievable! The power of the black tees and jeans, plus the energy and love of the crowd made this a very special show. It ended with a request from the audience of Adam's "Another Day". This tune is a great way to close a show, 'Wait for me little darling... Can't wait till I can see you again...' , so true!!! 

Great fill of Yonder Mountain and my ever-loving Kinfolk! Let's do it again, real soon!

Written by Kelli Scott, Photos by Kelli Scott and Harry Katz

Yonder Mountain String Band
7/12/12 Baltimore Soundstage, Baltimore, MD

Click below to preview tracks from this show


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts on this post!