Judah & the Lion retools its sound
Folk music and dance-pop may seem like they couldn’t be further from each other, but bands like Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men have proved that banjos and mandolins and acoustic guitars can be the driving force behind huge pop anthems, and EDM producers like Avicii, Zedd and Audien have added country sounds and singers to their electronic music. So it’s really not that surprising that Nashville folk-pop act Judah & the Lion has called its latest album Folk Hop N’ Roll, combining the folk and bluegrass sounds of its early music with elements of hip-hop, EDM and rock.
That approach has paid off, with the album’s lead single “Take It All Back” topping Billboard’s alternative charts for several weeks. The band has spent time opening for hugely successful alt-pop act Twenty One Pilots, broadening its fan base to listeners who might never pay attention to roots music. As frontman Judah Akers told Rolling Stone when the band was named one of “10 new artists you need to know” last year: “With this last record, and even moving forward with new songs that we’re writing now, it seems like that self-discovery is giving us more of an identity as to who we are and we’re really, really excited about it.”
House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, 7 p.m. Feb. 10, starting at $22 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster