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 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.
Austin has recently joined forces with Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey's Mcgee to form a group called 30db. They are putting out a new album called "One Man Show" on May 11, 2010 as well as having a small 7 show tour in May 2010 to promote the new album. Joining them on tour will be Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars, Nick Forster from the bluegrass band Hot Rize, and Boulder based Eric Thorin.