Yonder Mountain, McCoury, Furtado to headline Squaw string festival

Josh Sweigert
Yonder Mountain String Band photographed in San Francisco, CA April 15, 2012©Jay Blakesberg
Jay Blakesberg | Jay Blakesberg

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The fellows in Yonder Mountain String Band will play at an entirely new venue when they return to Lake Tahoe this April, and they’ll have some mighty fine company in tow.

The Mountain of Strings festival will be held at Squaw Valley Ski Resort on Sunday, April 28. Yonder Mountain String Band will be joined by fellow pickers the Del McCoury Band and Tony Furtado.

“We’re excited,” Pet Projekts Ryan Kronenberg said. “It’s Yonder Mountain and Del, you can’t really go wrong with that.”

YMSB and Del McCoury are big-time national names on the bluegrass and jamgrass scene. Yonder Mountain has been thrilling audiences with their high-octane, upbeat sound since forming in Colorado in the late nineties. The band has played regular April shows at Mont Bleu Casino in South Lake Tahoe in past years.

McCoury represents the older traditions of bluegrass, having joined Bill Monroe’s “Bluegrass Boys” on guitar in 1963. Joined by his sons Ronnie and Rob, he formed the Del McCoury Band in the late eighties and early nineties. The group has been playing high quality bluegrass around the country for decades, appearing at numerous festivals including McCoury’s own Delfest, in Cumberland, Md.

Furtado started playing banjo as a young man, progressing to the slide guitar a few years later. He plays a wide variety of folk, blues, jazz and other styles. Two time winner of the National Banjo Competition, he has worked with Allison Krauss, Tim O’Brien, Laurie Lewis, and other artists.

“I think I was kind of doomed to be a multi-genre player from the start,” Furtado told the Telluride Daily Planet in 2007.

Mountain of Strings is a homegrown Lake Tahoe creation. South Lake Tahoe’s Pet Projekt Productions joined with North Shore’s Devil Daog Productions to develop and book the festival. Backed by Crystal Bay Club Casino and Squaw Valley Ski Resort, the promoters intend for Mountain of Strings to become a regular event in coming years.

“The idea is to create a signature bluegrass event in Squaw Valley around Yonder’s spring tour,” Kronenberg said. “Tahoe doesn’t really have it’s own bluegrass thing.”

With the late April date, the promoters are well aware that weather could pose a challenge. With that in mind, the show will be held in a large heated tent with concession available in an area outside, Kronenberg said.

A pre-party featuring North Tahoe’s own Dead Winter Carpenters will be held at Crystal Bay Club Casino on April 27.

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