The Defiance Stringband
Its always been challenging actually to describe this trio and the music they play. They’re defined by some as simply “a bluegrass group from Aspen.” That’s understandable but misses the mark. To define them that way is like describing an elephant by its tail.
The band was formed back in 2007, along with a few others that spun off of a weekly old-time jam at Don and April’s house. Back then, Don Kaufman had just written a song that was a parody on the Dillard’s “Old Home Place” called “The Encana Bluegrass Blues.” The fledgling group drew national attention when the BBC videoed them performing it by Divide Creek, outside of Silt, CO. It was featured in a BBC documentary that was aired internationally and took in an audience of over 75 million. This video can still be seen on YouTube.
Having established themselves at the start with some notoriety as outgoing and slightly contentious, they began performing up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, adopted the name “Defiance” and developed playlists that featured and blended their individual, wide-ranging talents. This included old-time, folk, bluegrass, country, Celtic, ethnic and original songs, with their unique take on covers by such varied icons such as Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, John Denver, Leon Redbone, Gillian Welch, Nancy Griffith, and Bob Dylan to name just a few. They were fun, talented and free-spirited. We like to think they still are!
They recorded their first album in 2009, “Waiting for the Train,” followed by their 2nd in 2011 “Circle of Time,” to wide acclaim. The albums are easily accessed on Amazon, Itunes, Pandora, and Spotify
And over their 11-year span to date, they’ve received The Post Independent’s “Band of the Year” award five times, including as recently as 2018
The band features Don Paine on fiddle, mandolin, and clawhammer banjo, with April Moon and Don Kaufman switching off on acoustic guitar and stand up bass and as the primary singers, providing vocal gymnastics that interweave rich, organic harmonies.
The trio maintains its broad, ever-changing eccentric playlists, still offering a variety of acoustic instrumentals and vocals that create musical textures as varied as the Rocky Mountain landscapes in which they perform, appealing to young and old alike. We like to think: “good, (mostly) clean fun for the whole family!”
They can be seen performing every Friday during the winter and summer in the Limelight Hotel Lounge in Aspen, and starting in the winter of 2018, at the Viceroy’s Toro Lounge in Snowmass on Saturdays and the new Limelight Hotel in Snowmass on Sundays, as well as supporting local events and causes whenever they can.
They hope to get back into the studio to record a 3rd album sometime soon.
Defiance Stringband, LLC (c) TM 2022