There are relatively simple circumstances surrounding the origins and subsequent journey of Ben Schneider, the frontman/spark plug of atmospheric Americana outfit Lord Huron. Schneider, a native of Okemos, Mich., spent childhood summers on Lake Huron’s beaches, and those evocative reveries eventually seeped into his musical consciousness as he explored that side of his creative identity after college at the University of Michigan, knocking around France, New York City and Los Angeles. Adapting his band name from the Great Lake that fired his imagination, Schneider began his musical career with a handful of quietly engaging EPs, and when interest swelled to the point of fans wanting to witness an actual band performance, he called in friends from Michigan to fulfill that role in 2010.
Two acclaimed and fascinating full lengths followed — 2012’s Lonesome Dreams and last year’s brilliant Strange Trails — the successes of which led Lord Huron to extensive touring situations and ecstatically received festival appearances.
There is another, even more intriguing aspect to Schneider’s creative pursuits. Many of his artistic exploits are carefully and skillfully constructed fictions, including the Western novelist he has often cited as his greatest inspiration, one George Ranger Johnson. Schneider invented Johnson, crafted his hero’s fake biography and bibliography and then created a series of videos with himself as Lord Huron and his band members as adventurous friends supposedly recreating scenes from the faux author’s non-existent books. It’s a multi-layered, technological deceit, a contemporarily clever sleight of mind that Schneider distributes via digital postcards on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. It’s also a fascinating examination on the nature of reality — is belief itself powerful enough to make fiction into fact? — which Lord Huron has soundtracked with very real and yet still quite ephemeral music. But you’ll require a very real ticket to see this virtual genius in concert. I think.
Click here for tickets/more info.