It was mid-July when I received a Facebook message from a friend who wanted a large group of us to purchase tickets to a Mumford and Sons concert in Canandaigua, a town near Rochester.
For those of you unfamiliar with Mumford and Sons (which I sincerely hope no one reading this is), it is a British band with heavy folk and bluegrass influences. The four members are multi-instrumentalists, playing instruments varying from the mandolin, bass and resonator guitar, to the banjo, drums and piano, as well as others.
The name “Mumford and Sons” derives from the band’s singer’s name, Marcus Mumford. The band once said it decided to go with the name because Mumford was the most visible member of the band, doing most of the booking and organizing, while the name itself sounded like an antiquated family business.
The band’s rationalization of its name basically summarizes its image altogether. The music it plays sounds rustic and often references literature with a message, such as Shakespeare and Steinbeck.
Some of Mumford and Sons’ critics complain that much of the music sounds the same, with the constant use of the banjo and bass guitar. While I disagree with the statement, I can understand where they could make that claim, as the band does often use the same instruments in the majority of its songs. That said, I find the most appealing aspect of Mumford’s music to be in the lyrics, which is what initially drew me to the band and allows me to continue to enjoy it.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the folksy vibe that Mumford’s music emanates, and coming from a girl who is typically repelled by country and bluegrass music, that is saying something about the quality of the performance.