Anyone who knows me can probably guess who my favorite band is without having to think very hard about it. Do you need a moment? I’ll wait. Why yes, you are correct, my favorite band IS Mumford & Sons. I know, I know… to many people this means that I’m obviously a hipster who doesn’t know the difference between a “real” bluegrass band and a rock band who has been influenced by bluegrass. The thing is, they never identified themselves as strictly a bluegrass band. It’s a label they were given, much to the chagrin of those who play in bluegrass bands who assume that they are merely posers in the genre who sold out to make it big.
I tend to disagree with this assumption, however. I’ve now seen this band perform live a total of eight times, and I don’t see a “poser” band at all. What I see is an amazing group of young musicians with a grand talent for songwriting, improvising where needed, and all of whom can play more than one instrument and who draw their influences from multiple genres. You can see their passion for what they do in their body language, as well as their facial expressions, as they play (seriously, watch the bass player). I mean, they aren’t the only modern band to include a banjo in their tracks, either (despite it having been their defining instrument, even though they completely nixed it on their newest album). If anything, they helped pave the way for the banjo to go more main stream for lots of other bands. They have proven, however, that they can write a stellar song with or without the banjo (even though I do miss that brassy sound on the new album).
They are also not above making fun of themselves, or rather, how they presume others may view them. If you don’t believe me, check out the video for “Hopeless Wanderer.”
I digress, however. All I know is this… they are a band with music that has helped to lift me up when I’ve been down, to help give me reason when I only see chaos, to help inspire me when I feel lost. Their lyrics are like poetry and they truly can awake your soul. Before I end this blog and share my favorite song with you, I DO want to make you aware of a special showing at the Music Box Theatre happening next week. If you are a fan of them, like myself, you need to get yourself to the Music Box next Thursday for their Live From South Africa concert film. We are one of only a few cities in the States that is getting this film, and it’s for one night only. Check it out! https://www.musicboxtheatre.com/films/mumford-sons-live-from-south-africa (or if you are in the burbs, check out the showing in Wheaton at Studio Movie Grill). Not in the Chicago area, you can check to see if it’s play near you on their website here!
Ok, now that I have the word out about that, I want to share with you my favorite Mumford & Sons song. Even though I’ve seen them live eight times, I’ve still never seen them perform this song in person (come on, boys!), but that’s ok… because this video always makes me smile (watch it in its entirety for them to move into “Awake my Soul,” sung partially in French). I give you, “The Banjolin Song,” which starts at around the 2:40 minute mark. Enjoy!
Where you invest your love, you invest your life.
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