The 1st annual Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival was diverse in every sense of the word from the lush outdoors setting, to the headlining acts, to the food; all spectrums of music, art, culture, and people were represented.
The music never stopped and seamlessly crossed genres, with classic rock, funk, hip-hop, country, and a heavy dubstep contingent lighting up the Florida wilderness. It was incredibly awesome and flowed continuously from one stimulation to the next.
Over the last two years, I’ve noticed a new trend in some popular rock music… the banjo. Long relegated to bluegrass and country music, the banjo is appearing in many indie rock band lineups these days. Whether it be a feature in one song or an album with several songs showcasing the banjo, these bands are working to make the instrument cool.
Two of my favorite bands these days, The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons, feature the banjo prominently in several songs. Most notably, Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons which made the radio rounds in 2010. I had the pleasure of seeing the Avett Brothers live back in November at Orlando Calling and was struck by how well they incorporated the unassuming banjo into their music. It fit seamlessly into their sound and totally rounded it out. The Avett Brothers album I and Love and You showcases the banjo prominently and I highly recommend it.
A little tour around the internet and I found some other great indie bands who have some banjo love going on. Modest Mouse and Sufjan Stevens to just name two more. What’s the moral of the story… I love it when bands incorporate different instruments into their repertoire! It keeps things interesting. What bands that you enjoy feature interesting instruments?