bluegrass, rock, strings,8 p.m.
Newgrass had been simmering for years before O Brother turned it into a phenomenon. That’s around the time when Yonder Mountain String Band got started. The guys in Yonder found their signature sound by blending progressive bluegrass with groove rock and a willingness to buck tradition and explore their diverse musical interests. Even the quartet’s guitar-bass-banjo-mandolin instrumentation conspicuously lacks a fiddle (but this tour, mandolinist Jeff Austin is taking time off to be with family). The result’s an intriguing hybrid; their 2009 release The Show indulged in a hearty embrace of pop-rock, even employing Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas. Last year’s EP13 returned the band to its hooky jamgrass origins. As for the Travelin’ McCourys, there’s no questioning their devotion to bluegrass. Ronnie and Robbie McCoury’s dad Del played alongside Bill Monroe. Ronnie’s one of the country’s finest mandolin players and has released several solo albums. Though they’ve backed their father for years (and won a Grammy as their father’s band the other night), the Travelin’ McCourys have yet to make their proper debut. They got a step closer in 2012 when they teamed with Keller Williams on 2012’s Pick. —Chris Parker WEDNESDAY