Although some have tagged the Lumineers as Mumford-come-latelies, the Folk/Pop band’s roots actually date back to 2005, when vocalist/guitarist Wesley Schultz and drummer Jeremiah Fraites were playing the New Jersey/New York circuit as the unfortunately named Wesley Jeremiah.
Finding the scene competition in their Brooklyn base a bit too bloodthirsty, the duo relocated to Denver, Colo., and recruited cellist Neyla Pekarek, rechristening themselves The Lumineers.
The Lumineers’ upward trajectory began in early 2011, when they secured management after posting a YouTube video of a performance of their future hit single, “Ho Hey.” With funding from the managers, The Lumineers recorded their debut album and, before the end of the year, “Ho Hey” was featured in the season finale of the CW’s Hart of Dixie, which sparked a social media frenzy. Early last year, Seattle DJ John Richards started playing the song heavily on his morning show and The Lumineers were subsequently featured on David Dye’s World Cafe radio show, all of which led to major label interest of the first order.
The band chose to sign with indie Dualtone and the numbers began to add up. Their eponymous debut just missed cracking Billboard’s Top 10, while “Ho Hey” hit the Top 5 and has sold more than 2 million copies, qualifying it as a double platinum single.
The Lumineers’ dominance has continued in the new year, with two Grammy nominations and a string of sold-out shows that are following an interesting pattern; their original bookings are selling out so quickly that the dates are moved to larger venues to accommodate more ticket sales. That is precisely what happened with their PNC Pavilion/Riverbend show here in Cincinnati. If this keeps up, Marcus Mumford might soon be known as that guy that sounds like The Lumineers.
THE LUMINEERS perform Tuesday, June 3 at Riverbend in California with Cold War Kids. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here .