Musical style and development

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Mumford & Sons a Firenze | Flickr - Photo Sharing! : taken from - https://www.flickr.com/photos/lyonora/8568191214 Author: Leonora Giovanazzi https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

 
 
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Posted on Sun, 05/10/2015 - 1:50pm
by Ron Wallace

Member since: Sat, 01/24/2015

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The band began by using bluegrass and folk instrumentation, with the core instruments of acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and a double bass, played with a rhythmic style based in alternative rock and folk. In the documentary Big Easy Express, Marcus Mumford recognises the Old Crow Medicine Show influence: "I first heard Old Crow’s music when I was, like, 16, 17, and that really got me into, like, folk music, bluegrass. I mean, I’d listened to a lot of Dylan, but I hadn’t really ventured into the country world so much. So Old Crow were the band that made me fall in love with country music." Mumford acknowledges that "the band inspired them to pick up the banjo and start their now famous country nights in London." Ketch Secor, Old Crow front-man, concurs: "Those boys took the message and ran with it."

Emmylou Harris was "among the gateway artists who helped Mumford and bandmates Ben Lovett, Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall discover their love for American roots music. It started with the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack ... That eventually led them to the Old Crow Medicine Show and then deep immersion in old-timey sounds from America's long-neglected past."

Much of Mumford & Sons' lyrical content has a strong literary influence, its debut album name deriving from William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. The track "Sigh No More" includes lines from the play such as Serve God love me and mend, For man is a giddy thing, and One foot in sea and one on shore. The title of the song "Roll Away Your Stone" is an allusion to Macbeth; the song includes the line Stars hide your fires/ And these here are my desires which borrows and pares down Macbeth's line in act 1, scene 4: Stars, hide your fires,/ Let not light see my black and deep desires. Additionally, "The Cave" includes several references to The Odyssey, in particular the sirens that Odysseus encounters on his journey home. The song also contains many references to G.K. Chesterton's book, St. Francis of Assisi, in which Chesterton uses Plato's Cave as a way of explaining how St. Francis views the world from God's perspective. "Little Lion Man" appears to be a retelling in dramatic monologue form of Chretien de Troyes' Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, which is the story of a knight who goes mad after betraying a promise to his wife to return to her. Both "Timshel" and "Dust Bowl Dance" draw heavily from the John Steinbeck novels Of Mice and Men, East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath.

The band's change in sound on their third album was described by Lovett as a "natural departure". At the end of the Babel tour Winston Marshall traded his banjo for electric guitar in sound checks and Mumford started playing more drums as the band jammed on heavy instrumentals and even some Radiohead tunes. Banjo does not feature on the record, an instrument that had become synonymous with the band. NME reported that the band's sound is "More expansive than ever and decidedly heavier, thanks to the shift in instrumentation." The group also employed a full drumkit instead of kick drum. "We've had our standard line-up of instruments for the last six years and we felt like that was our palette, [but] we started picking up other stuff," said Lovett. "It's a very natural departure from some of that rootsier stuff."

Lovett told NME that working with James Ford for Wilder Mind was part of trying something new. "We felt a need for change. Not from Markus [Dravs], but he was so closely attached to those first two records that as we had taken that time off, we wanted to try doing something new. It felt like, if we do our third record with Markus, does that mean we do our ninth and 10th records with Markus? At some point you have to try different things, as we collectively felt like it was time to try other stuff. Markus knows that we might well make the next record with him. We definitely haven't broken up [with Dravs], we're just playing the field!"

Gentlemen of the Road

In 2009 the band founded Gentlemen of the Road, a live promotions company, record label and organiser of the global series of Stopover Festivals.

 

 

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Mumford & Sons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumford_%26_Sons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/