How Folk Music Inspired Mumford and Sons
How Folk Music Inspired Mumford and Sons – The Grammy award-winning band Mumford & Sons have often been described as a “folk-rock” band. But what does that really mean?
The Birth of Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons was born in December 2007, in West London. The band members had all been involved in the UK’s thriving folk scene for some time before coming together. Marcus Mumford had been touring with Laura Marling, while Ben Lovett and Winston Marshall were both members of other successful folk bands. Ted Dwane rounded out the group on bass.
The Evolution of Folk Music
Folk music has been around for centuries, and it has been a major influence on many popular bands and artists today. Mumford and Sons is one of the most popular bands of this generation, and their music is heavily influenced by folk music. In this article, we’ll take a look at how folk music has evolved over the years and how it has influenced Mumford and Sons.
The British Invasion
The British Invasion of the 1960s brought many new folk rock bands to the United States, including The Beatles and The Byrds. These bands combined traditional folk music with rock and roll to create a new sound. This sound was very influential on Mumford and Sons, who cite The Beatles and The Byrds as two of their biggest influences.
The American Folk Revival
The American Folk Revival was a movement in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s in which folk music was “revived” among mainstream audiences. It occurred concurrently with the British folk revival.
The American folk revival was spearheaded by a group of New York City-based urban, middle-class intellectuals, including Alan Lomax, John and Alan Caesar, Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand, Irving Mansfield (the producer who brought to Broadway the first successful revue of traditional songs, Sing Out! Sweet Land), and Harold Leventhal (the concert and festival promoter who managed the Weavers and helped engineer their crossover success). The Revivalists were inspired by their Bohemian predecessors—the Algonquin Round Table, for example—as well as European artistic movements such as Dada and Surrealism. They sought to promote greater appreciation of American vernacular culture through music, dance, art, folklore collecting, and writing.
The American Folk Revival is often considered to have begun with the concert given by Josh White and Lead Belly at Carnegie Hall on December 3, 1940. However, some argue that it actually began earlier with rural concerts held by John A. Lomax (Alan Lomax’s father) in Texas and Louisiana during the 1930s; or with gatherings of informal music making at places like Arnold Circus in London’s East End; or even with commercial recordings of rural music made in the 1920s by people like Paramount Records A&R man Ralph Peer. Others trace the beginning of the Revival to Greenwich Village during the late 1920s when intellectuals like Aaron Copland and Charles Seeger (Pete Seeger’s father) became interested in rural music as a specifically American art form worth studying and promoting.
The Impact of Folk Music on Mumford and Sons
Folk music has been around for centuries and has influenced many artists throughout the years. Mumford and Sons is a band that was particularly inspired by folk music. In this paper, we will discuss how folk music has influenced Mumford and Sons and how it has helped shape their sound.
The Band’s Sound
Mumford and Sons’ sound has been highly influenced by traditional English and Celtic folk music. The band makes use of a variety of instruments that are commonly found in folk music, such as the banjo, acoustic guitar, and double bass. They also employ extended instrumentals and sing harmonies that are characteristic of the genre. In many ways, Mumford and Sons can be seen as revivalists of traditional folk music.
While some bands who are influenced by folk music take a more experimental approach, Mumford and Sons have remained largely faithful to the genre’s roots. This is likely due to the fact that Marcus Mumford (the band’s lead singer and songwriter) grew up surrounded by folk music. His father is a well-known folk musician, and Marcus has said that he was exposed to the genre from a very young age. This early exposure likely played a role in shaping Marcus’ musical sensibilities and informing the sound of Mumford and Sons.
The Band’s Lyrics
It would be impossible to discuss the impact of folk music on Mumford and Sons without mentioning the band’s lyrics. Marcus Mumford, the group’s lead singer and primary songwriter, has said that he is heavily influenced by the works of American poet Wendell Berry. Berry’s poetry often deals with themes of love, loss, and nature, and these are all topics that come up frequently in Mumford and Sons’ music.
In addition to Wendell Berry, Marcus Mumford has also cited the English poet laureate John Milton as an influence on his writing. Milton’s Paradise Lost is one of the most famous works of literature in the English language, and its themes of good vs. evil are echoed in many of Mumford and Sons’ songs.
sung by Marcus Mumford:
And I will love you still my dear
While all the sands of life shall run