The Blue Ridge Mountains may be a thousand miles away but Bluegrass music is alive and flourishing in Montréal, Quebec.
Well-schooled in the often imitated but rarely replicated roots and branches of southern American music, Yonder Hill prides themselves on their varied repertoire of both traditional and original bluegrass songs.
Yonder Hill offers the three principle vocalists a unique musical outlet, hued in subtle contrast to their primary occupations as talented songwriters with solo careers of their own.
Dara Weiss is an active and dedicated member of the Montreal bluegrass scene. After graduating from McGill University in classical saxophone performance she realized that it was bluegrass music that had a hold on her heart. She is a prolific songwriter and Yonder Hill is the perfect ensemble to interpret her “instant classic” bluegrass songs.
Angela Desveaux, with her roots planted in Cape Breton soil, plays an active role in the Montreal country scene. Her stint with the Sonny Best Band illustrates her talent for song writing and her authentic and beautiful country vocals. Her new solo album entitled Wandering Eyes was released in September 2006 on the Thrill Jockey record label. Her second album on Thrill Jockey will be released this fall.
Katie Moore has lent her sweet vocals to a variety of successful projects including a European tour with singer/producer Gonzales and Hip Hop- Klezmer act Socalled. She is the singer and bass player in the Montreal group Timber!, a band who has garnered substantial critical acclaim in the Canadian Indie scene. She has one solo album under her belt and her second, Only Thing Worse, was released on Borealis records in 2007.
Yonder Hill’s instrumentalists include banjo player Terry Joe Rodrigues, dobro player Joe Grass, fiddler Heather Schnarr and bass player Andrew Horton, each of which has extensive musical experience and important solo careers of their own. Both Horton and Schnarr are professional classical musicians, however, when they are not playing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra or the Orchestre Métropolitaine, they can be found picking bluegrass in the Andrew Horton Bluegrass Band. Besides lending his fret board skills to various musical projects in Montreal, multi-instrumentalist Joe Grass is an accomplished singer and songwriter in his own right. Rodrigues, who has recently released his solo bluegrass album, has impressed audiences in Canada and the U.S. with his amazing frailing banjo technique.
Yonder Hill is not to be missed. Bluegrass traditionalists will be thrilled and music lovers new to the genre will be converted. Don’t be surprised to learn that Montreal is making waves that reach the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.