Judah & The Lion Bend Music Genres At Banger’s Check Out Our SXSW Coverage Of The Exciting Tennessee Band!
AUSTIN, TX- During my day 2 night session of SXSW I was introduced to some exciting genre bending artists. It’s one of the beauties of the festival that you get to discover literally every kind of music out there. I was lucky enough to experience a few of those unique bands during the Stubhub showcase at Banger’s. One of which was a group called Judah and the Lion out of Nashville, Tennessee, made up of Judah Akers, Brian Macdonald, and Nate Zuercher. Originally formed as a folk band in 2011 while attending college, the trio has shifted their sound to a folk-rock blend in recent years that has boosted their popularity.
At their SXSW set Judah and the Lion had an interesting array of instruments that included a mandolin and banjo to go along with guitars, keyboard, and drums. This mix of sounds combined to produce a spirited and highly energetic performance from Akers and the rest of his band. What made them such a unique act and memorable, was how they were able to use folk music as a base to which they layered on top rock and pop elements to take it up another level. Their biggest record to date is titled “Folk Hop N’ Roll” and it encapsulates that musical transformation perfectly.
They performed a majority of the album including singles Suit and Jacket and the ever popular Take It All Back, which was the song that gave Judah and the Lion their big break. The rock inspiration was on display from the very start as Akers had the intensity and energy of a lion jumping around, climbing on the drum set, and often times going into the audience to sing along with them while simultaneously taking selfies. The lyrical content of the album is actually very personal and deeply rooted in Akers’s own life experiences; this greatly added to his intensity and passion on stage. You can feel every note as he sang from the pit of his being to portray his stories.
Judah and the Lion released their fourth album “Pep Talks” on May 3rd with heavy-hitter features of Kacey Musgraves and Jon Bellion. The record is much more upbeat and hopeful than “Folk Hop N’ Roll” and is a definitely a step in more of a pop direction for the band. It even includes some EDM elements on songs such as 7000xand Don’t Mess With My Mama.However, Judah and the Lion never lose sight of their folk roots, with banjo and mandolin sounds being prominent throughout the entire album. Check out “Pep Talks” now streaming everywhere, and catch their energy on their upcoming fall tour in a city near you!
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