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Small Talk: Out of Genoa

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French Air Force Patrouille de France team performs at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

  • Black mothers turn from grieving to governing -- Gun violence in the U.S. results in tens of thousands of deaths every year. So far this year more than 6,800 people have died in shooting incidents. According to Gun Violence Archives that includes at least 28 since yesterday. A group of African-American mothers who have lost a child to gun violence or alleged police brutality want to go from grieving to governing to make a change.

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"Maya" by Skye Walker -- Taco Vino, Corvallis, Oregon

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Jeff Austin, Yonder Mountain String Band Co-Founder, Dead at 45

A pillar of the modern bluegrass and jam band scene, singer/mandolinist Jeff Austin died unexpectedly on Monday, June 24th. He was 45.

A statement posted Tuesday afternoon on Austin’s Facebook confirmed his death, calling him a “dear friend whose music touched the lives of so many.”

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Austin attended the University of Cincinnati. In Urbana, Illinois, he befriended banjoist David Johnston, whose band the Bluegrassholes he joined. Austin and Johnston later moved to Colorado, where they would found Yonder Mountain String Band with bassist Ben Kaufman and guitarist Adam Aijala in 1998.

With their instrumental prowess and adventurous musical spirit, Yonder Mountain String Band were — and still are — a pioneering group in the emerging progressive bluegrass scene that now includes marquee acts like Railroad Earth, the Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, and Billy Strings. They have also been a festival staple for the better part of the two decades since they formed. During Austin’s tenure with the ensemble, the group would garner six Top 10 albums on the bluegrass charts, including three Number One releases. Austin parted ways with the group in 2014.

Since 2014, Austin toured the country with as the leader of his namesake Jeff Austin Band. The solo project had been gaining steam in recent years, especially through their ongoing collaboration with the Travelin’ McCourys and the Grateful Dead bluegrass tribute showcase titled “The Grateful Ball.”

“The Infamous Stringdusters opened up for Yonder in our early years and they taught us what was possible as an acoustic bluegrass band to be presented as a rock band,” Jeremy Garrett, Grammy-winning singer/fiddler for the Infamous Stringdusters, told Rolling Stone Country. “Jeff Austin was a huge part of presenting bluegrass as a rock show. It’s tragic. We’re all going to miss him and his profound influence on our scene.”

Austin is survived by wife, Devlyn, and three kids, Lily Rose, Penelope and Jude Patrick

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ByTor

Canadian politics are still politics.  Several posts have been removed.

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