Jeff Austin (born in Arlington Heights, Illinois) is a mandolinist and singer best known for being a part of the Yonder Mountain String Band.
Although Austin was born in Arlington Heights, he grew up in Elk Grove, Illinois and attended Rolling Meadows High School. Austin attended the University of Cincinnati, but soon made his way to Urbana, Illinois, where he met future banjoist Dave Johnston. Receiving a request from Johnston to perform in his band The Bluegrassholes, Austin picked up the mandolin for the first time. After some time, Austin moved to Nederland, Colorado; Johnston, after seeking improvement in his playing ability, also moved to Nederland. While attending a club called the Verve, Austin met Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann, with whom he and Johnston would form the Yonder Mountain String Band.
In late 2013, Austin announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from Yonder due to the pending birth of his child. In a statement, he said the following:
As of April 23, 2014, Austin is no longer a member of Yonder Mountain String Band. Citing creative differences and conflicting career goals, the band announced an amicable parting of ways.
Jeff Austin released his solo debut album on Yep Roc Records on February 10, 2015. The project, titled The Simple Truth, features the likes of Cody Dickinson, the Royal Horns, Todd Snider, Jennifer Hartswick, Brendan Bayliss and Sarah Siskind, as well as Jeff's touring band - Danny Barnes, Ross Martin, and Eric Thorin.
In March 2004, Jeff Austin released a full length studio album with Chris Castino called Songs from the Tin Shed. This album of wistful cowboy music features Nick Forster and included guest appearances by Darol Anger, Sally Van Meter, and Noam Pikelny.
In February 2006, Austin recorded Rex (Live at the Fillmore), a live album under the band name Grateful Grass featuring fellow musicians Keller Williams and Keith Moseley (The String Cheese Incident). Available only for digital download, the album features non-traditional bluegrass versions of songs by the Grateful Dead with 100% of the proceeds going to the Rex Foundation.
In 2010, he partnered with Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey's Mcgee to form a group called 30db. They put out an album called "One Man Show" on May 11, 2010 and played a small 7 show tour in May 2010 to promote the new album. Joining them on tour was Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars, Nick Forster from the bluegrass band Hot Rize, and Boulder based Eric Thorin.
Jeff Austin official homepage
Yonder Mountain String Band To Tour Without Jeff Austin - Jambase.com