Are you one of the 450+ people waiting for the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel? No reason to sit idly by until that hold arrives at your local library. Check out these great artists who paved the way and discover the rich tradition of American roots music behind these British folksters.
Like other revivalists, Mumford & Sons have put their unique stamp on the sound but much of it harkens back to earlier eras of bluegrass and country. Here are some of my favorite artists and collections that exemplify some of the same soulful singing, tales of love and yearning, and driving instruments that have made Mumford such an exciting band to see rise up so quickly and pack venues with thousands of foot-stomping fans.
- Roscoe Holcomb
- Bill Monroe
- Ralph Stanley / The Stanley Brothers
- Earl Scruggs / Flatt & Scruggs
- Doc Watson
- Reverend Gary Davis
- Friends of Old Time Music (includes Dock Boggs, Clarence Ashley, and The New Lost City Ramblers)
- Classic Appalachian Blues (includes Etta Baker and Roscoe Holcomb)
Not ready to go quite that far back in time? Try these contemporaries (and in some instances, collaborators).
- Jerry Douglas
- Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
- Sam Bush
- Old Crow Medicine Show
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
- Carolina Chocolate Drops
Is that enough to tide you over? What other past and present artists do you think belong on this list?
Wow, thank you!! Great list.
+1 to Carolina Chocolate Drops!
Also, the Library has Laura Marling's "I Speak Because I Can", which features Mumford & Sons. As well as Ray Davies collaboration album "See My Friends", that has a track "Days(!)/This Time Tomorrow" with Mumford & Sons.
I think the Library has some of ThePogues, which is who Mumford & Sons reminded me of at first blush - for those willing to go a little back in time, not nearly as far as the first part of the wonderful list.
Laura Marling is great. The first time Mumford & Sons ever played in Denver was at the Falcon (now Moe's BBQ next to the Gothic) back in 2008 as Laura's opener and backing band. There were about 50 people there which seems absurd considering Marling's talent and Mumford now selling out almost every venue they play.
I'd also like to add the Denver native band, Paper Bird, to the list. I love their folksy harmonics. DPL has their debut album, "Anything Nameless and Joymaking," though it would be nice to see a few more copies and their newer albums.
Great suggestion! I'll definitely talk to our music buyer to see if we can get their other albums.
Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski, too
Johnny Flynn! DPL only has his first album (he's got two out) but he's collaborated with the Mumfords and has the same big sound.