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Music for Many: Gentlemen of the Road

Last weekend, I (along with 30,000 others) went to Simcoe for a music festival. Yes, thirty thousand.

It was fantastic. I have a lot of thoughts that are not-quite-music-related, and I will likely (possibly) write another post about those.

But first, I'd like to talk music! The Gentlemen of the Road tour headliners were, of course, fantastic. Edwarde Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros put on a trippy hobo show. I can't help but think their lead singer would have been an itinerant back-country revival preacher in the 1920's. Mumford and Sons brought the proverbial house down. I assume you've all seen or heard some of their songs, so there's no need to post any here.

I would, however, like to introduce you to a couple of bands you may not know.

First, it is important to note that there is a difference between country music and bluegrass music. If you've got a hate-on for country, I would plead with you to give bluegrass a chance. Maybe start by watching O Brother, Where Art Thou.


And then you should take a listen to Old Crow Medicine Show, who put on a lively romp of a show:


If you're still uninterested in these fast-singing, quick-fingered souls, then my other recommendation is Bear's Den.

One of two British bands I discovered late last year and am a bit smitten with (the other is Bastille*), Bear's Den is just the right combination of intensely poignant lyrics and fantastic musicianship. This was the only performance I voluntarily stood for, and even moved forward in the crowd. This was their first ever gig in Canada, and I'm not even sure if they have a full-length album yet! So get on board while they're still relatively obscure ;)

Take a listen:


I just. can't.

My heart breaks a little every time, in that aching way that also makes me feel more alive.



*I also need to link to this video - this song + the British Museum + bodily percussion = amazing.

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