Orpheum Theatre - Madison, WI (February 15, 2014)

written by Sandy Procknow

Yonder/McCoury Band… I think so… If I had one word to describe this show it would be freekingamazing!!! The combo of the McCoury boys and the Yonder boys was just sweet magic. The lineup for this show included: Adam Aijala, Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston, with special guests filling in for Jeff Austin: Ronnie McCoury, Jason Carter, Alan Bartram, Cody Kilby, and Daren Shoemaker. 

photo courtesy of Sandy Procknow

We grabbed the shuttle from our hotel, pre-game drinks in hand, and headed for the venue.  I’m a big fan of this venue and usually sit up top, however we opted for floor seats this time around and got a great spot Dave side (rage side). They opened the show with one of my favorites… "I Know You Rider" The entire crowd was on fire as they sang along…. what a great way to open a show!! Dave gave us some "Ripcord Blues" and then Adam gave us "All the Time", followed by one of my favorite Ben songs, "New Deal Train". What happened after that had the crowd jumping up and down, Ronnie McCoury sang "Freeborn Man" (man he sounds just like his dad!) into "Wheel Hoss" back into "Freeborn Man". 

Closing the 1st set was Dave singing "Pass this Way", into a show stopping "EMD"… They were on FIRE… then back into "Pass this Way". I couldn’t believe that was the end of the first set, I was SO fired up after that. Set break was spent meeting new Kinfolk and smiling for pictures with Melissa Bell and Miss Whitney, always a pleasure hanging with those girls.  

Ben sang us a little "My Gal" for a 2nd set opener… "If I live… If I don’t get killed…" followed by "No Expectations" - one of the longest versions I have heard. Adam followed up with the melodic "Landfall", then Dave hit us with a "Black Sheep", with Alan Bartram helping out on bass. Up next was a real treat, a 25 minute "DOGS"!! Last time I got "Dogs" was New Years, St Louis 2010; awesome is all I have to say! Up next was "Going to the Races", followed by everyone getting back on stage: Robbie on Banjo, Cody Kilby on guitar, and Daren Shoemaker on mando while Ben sang a Todd Snider favorite, "Sideshow Blues"> "Sidewalk Stars"> "Sideshow Blues" Don’t stop… we want more… but that was the end of the 2nd set. The crowed called the band back for a classic "Ruben and Cherise" followed by everyone on stage for "Let me Fall" (I don’t care what you say I’m gonna drink my corn liquor anyway….Oh me….Oh my…) to close the show. 

What a show. I was looking forward to this amazing combination of musicians, but what happened that night in Mad-Town was nothing less than stellar. Jeff was missed but the McCoury boys did not disappoint!      

Written by Sandy Procknow; photos by Eric Martin and Dorothy St.Claire

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