Guest / Limited Access /
Mumford & the Son
Mumford & the Son

Last month, some 15,000 fans gathered in a small Illinois town, surrounded by miles of cornfields, for what was ostensibly a day-long music festival. But most of us who had come to Dixon, Illinois, for the third stop in the American Gentlemen of the Road tour weren't there for the seven bands who whiled away the day. We were there for the headliners: the prodigious folk quartet known as Mumford & Sons.

After nearly six hours of musical performances, the time had come. The sun was set, the stage was black. Streams of tiny light bulbs were strung over the lawn, from the sound booth to the stage. But like the audience, they had yet to be electrified by the impending performance. At once, people could be seen on stage, and with the sound of a syncopated acoustic guitar, the crowd erupted in cheer as they recognized the opening chords to "Little Lion Man." The roar of the crowd colliding with the music put me more at the scene of a victory celebration after battle than a folk festival.

Marcus Mumford (left) and his bandmates

Three years ago, Mumford & Sons were just another ragtag London folk band. But their course was forever changed by their 2009 debut LP, Sigh No More. The album soon became a hit, and ever since, the group has toured endlessly. In an age when record sales are on the decline, Sigh No More has gone four times platinum in the UK, thrice platinum in Australia, and twice platinum in the U.S.

Mumford & Sons have a fresh and distinctive sound. The rousing combination of traditional folk instrumentation, militaristic drum patterns, grandiose brass, and aggressive vocal tracks give their tunes an arresting and joyful sound. But their sonic creativity alone is not what has captured ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueChristianity Today’s 2017 Book of the Year
Subscriber Access Only Christianity Today’s 2017 Book of the Year
The release that best embodies our pursuit of Beautiful Orthodoxy.
Recommended
Subscriber Access Only Babel
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickCompassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
Compassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
About 145,000 children have already lost its assistance with food, education, and health care.
Christianity Today
Mumford & the Son
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.