Sound Advice: Judah & the Lion with Tall Heights and Colony House (March 5)

Popular AltFolkRapPop band comes to Bogart's

Feb 27, 2018 at 10:39 am

click to enlarge Judah & the Lion - Photo: facebook.com_judahandthelion
Photo: facebook.com_judahandthelion
Judah & the Lion
The mainstream resurgence of Nu-Folk and banjo music can be traced to the rise of The Avett Brothers, who found widespread success about 10 years ago. Wild, raw and (at times) oh-so-sad, it was a perfect storm of what a younger audience needed from Bluegrass — what it already was and what it had not yet become. From there it was only a quick leap to finding the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show, which got new life breathed into its gig thanks in part to what was happening across the pond. In the mid-’00s, a contemporary Folk resurgence took off in the U.K. with artists like Laura Marling, who called called on influences like Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. Her former backing band would go on to form Mumford & Sons, a quartet that seemed to worship all things OCMS. The scenes fed each other and would go on to massive mainstream popularity, while also influencing a host of up-and-coming new acts.

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.

Click here for tickets/more show info.