Jacob Jolliff is one of the country's premier contemporary mandolinists. Before joining Yonder Mountain String Band, Jolliff was an integral member of beloved New England roots band, Joy Kills Sorrow. He started touring with JKS when he was studying on a full scholarship at The Berklee College of Music. The band logged three records, hundreds of shows, and thousands of miles of worldwide touring. In 2012, Jolliff won the National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, KS. A fixture of the national bluegrass community, he has shared the stage with Darol Anger, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Jerry Douglas, and David Grisman, to name a few. When Joy Kills Sorrow went on hiatus in 2014, Jolliff got the call to come tour with progressive bluegrass giant, Yonder Mountain String Band. Soon after, he was asked to join the band. He has been featured on one record with YMSB--2015's, Black Sheep, and the band will be releasing a new album with Jolliff later this year.
Jolliff's new solo project, The Jacob Jolliff Band, is a next generation bluegrass supergroup. The ensemble features some of the most virtuosic and innovative young pickers in the country. The band features his long-time partner-in-crime, Alex Hargreaves, on fiddle. Considered one of best improvising violinists in the world, Hargreaves is the winner of The Grand Masters Fiddle Championship and The National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest. He is also a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet. Bringing his ground-breaking and fiery guitar style to the group is one of Jolliff's Berklee friends, Stash Wyslouch. A former member of The Deadly Gentleman, he is the current leader of The Stash! Band. He also tours with Molsky's Mountain Drifters. To complete the outfit, Jacob tapped bassist Jeff Picker, who he met in NYC in 2014. The jazz bass prodigy from Portland, OR also has substantial grounding in the bluegrass tradition, making him the perfect anchor for the rhythm section. Picker currently tours with Americana phenom, Sarah Jarosz.
Jacob Jolliff continues to tour extensively with YMSB while assembling his namesake band when relentless touring schedules permit, for rare, not to be missed performances.
Bow Thayer has been singing and writing songs for as long as he can remember. Making music is who he is. He has lived up to his "reputation as a sublimely gifted artist" by pursuing a creative vision that seeks to lead Americana music into the future. Finally gaining national recognition, American Songwriter says this "onetime Levon Helm compatriot is the best artist to come from New England in recent years."
Bow made a name for himself in Boston with 7 League Boots, a rock/reggae band that shared the stage with the likes of Fugazi, The Mighty Might Bosstones, and Pearl Jam. Fifteen years ago he made a life-altering decision to leave the city for the Green Mountains of Vermont. It was there that he explored the Delta blues playing slide guitar for the original Elbow and began a relationship with the banjo--both in the bluegrass group, The Benders, and on his own--that continues to this day.
Bow’s music is always evolving—from luscious backwoods folk rock to the sonic exploration of his last album of all original material, Sundowser, that was co-produced and engineered by three-time Grammy winner Justin Guip (Levon Helm) and crafted on an instrument Bow created--the Bojotar--in a studio he built with his own hands. As No Depression puts it, "You want inventiveness... I offer Bow Thayer."
Bow's newest release, The Source and The Servant, is a tribute to two legends that have influenced his development as an artist: Dock Boggs and Mississippi Fred McDowell. But this record is just not simply a homage to the foundations of American music. Bow has re-invented these songs with new arrangements and lyrics, and performs most of them on different acoustic and electric versions of the Bojotar, a stringed instrument that incorporates elements of the banjo, resonator guitar, and conventional guitar. The electric version is currently available for sale from the Eastwood/Airline Guitar Company.
While out on the road, Bow had the joy of introducing the Bojotar to fans and friends alike, including some of his musical peers and heroes such as Bela Fleck, Richard Thompson, The Steep Canyon Ramblers and Warren Haynes. Having played with these music luminaries as well as Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Booker T, and Ringo Starr, Bow has seen his fair share of travel across these United States of America and the World at large and plans to do more while supporting his records that feature his tales, truths and fantasies about the human condition. Bow and his band of brothers devote their lives to spreading music wherever they go and hope you have the chance to catch an earful.