Like the in-laws’ hungry cat gnawing on the end of an electric cord of the family Christmas tree lights, Jeff Austin ravenously rips into the shiny surfaces of his bluegrass melodies till he and his audience are zapped with a thousand volts of raw music. Nearly one year has passed since Austin parted ways with Yonder Mountain String Band, and when he took the stage at the Fox Theatre in Boulder last week, he seemed anxious to throw some sparks.
Fronting his new band, Austin assembled a small collection of talented, seasoned musicians, including Eric Thorin on the stand-up bass, Ross Martin on guitar, and Danny Barnes on banjo. Barnes traded licks with Austin with the pan-seared sizzle of a fire department fish fry. Lead-in performer, Sarah Siskind opened with a bluesy, easygoing set before the Jeff Austin band joined to close her set.