Enter Judah & the Lion. Formed in Nashville in 2011, the group is everything riders of the last Nu-Folk wave want to hate. But it’s hard to flip the radio station when Judah & the Lion’s big hit “Take it All Back” comes on, with those twangy banjo solos calling out and teasingly whispering, “Hey girl. I might sound like your favorite band — the one that sounds like Coldplay now.” Except Judah & the Lion doesn’t. In an attempt to do something different, there’s rapping in the mix, making it occasionally sound like Mumford and Sons covering a Walmart-censored Eminem track. That might sound hateful, but the truth is that there’s just not enough to hate. At the end of the song, it’s like most of the other stuff of the radio: Made to appease the masses.
Last year, the genre-mixing group issued an expanded version of 2016’s breakthrough Folk Hop N’ Roll featuring new songs, including the most recent single, “Suit and Jacket.” The band’s music relies heavily on the same constant build-up and anthem-like excitement you’ll find at an Imagine Dragons show. That means that however you feel about gratuitous banjo, Judah & the Lion’s time at Bogart’s should be pretty raucous.