“It’s a Long Road to Wisdom, it’s a short one to be ignored”
The recently released Big Easy Express, three of the biggest folk/Americano musical acts (Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show) all get onto a train heading from LA to New Orleans, 10 days of non-stop folk explosion. The Luminners would have fit right into that train cart. Time has an interesting way of changing trends, another example would be 21 Jump Street Channing Tatum one strapping it, and Jonah Hill becomes the cool kid. All the high school kids traded their gas guzzling cars and cigarettes, for thick ray ban glasses and organic back packs. In all the folk-rootsy bands that are at our disposal, The Luminners are not afraid they will get washed out with the rest of them. “We write songs, you might think of it as folk, rootsy, or Americano, but the listener is letting the cello or the acoustic guitars and other thing influence why they think that, cause to me it’s not that easy to pin down.” Wesley has a point, the songs on their debut album are well thoughtout and crafted that can be play in numerous ways (a piano and vocal, electrical with a full band, solo or with 300 of your closest friends on a dance floor). “I think a lot of bands think that about themselves, I am aware of that, I am not arrogant about it at all. We try to make good song, not folk, rootsy or Americano, just good songs.”
The band started 6 years ago by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites. Wes and Jeremiah’s brother Josh were best friends from childhood, the memory of Josh and Wes drawing side by side is the opener to the band’s bio on their website. When Josh was 19, he passed away of a drug overdose. No matter who you are, how weak or strong you think you are, we all deal with death in our own ways. Just so happens that Jeremiah and Wesley did over music.
There is a cover of Bob Dylan’s “When the Ship Comes In,” that is from 2008 that The Lumineers did in Beantowne Gourmet in Allendale. To make a cover your own, it is a daunting task, you never want to overshadow the original work (example Ryan Adams cover of “Wonderwall” he nailed that out of the park) but you do want to place your mark on it. This is one thing this group has nailed down. Covering Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, and The Talking Heads, you never feel as if you are watching a corny ass cover band at a local Irish pub. They place a Lumineer twist on it that is unbeatable.
The band is based out of Denver, they placed a Craiglisted for a cellist, Neyla Pekarek is classical trained and answered to the ad. “She had just cut off all her hair and finished school, and had a lot of opportunities to teach. She came down to our basement, and it worked out really well. We weren’t sure what she was going to do. There was a part of her, I could see, that really wanted to see what was out there. If she took that job it might have turned into forever. We are happy that she chose us, because she is an amazing part of this band.” You know that Wesley is coming from a sincere place in his words. After speaking with him in May, a very modest and humble gentleman, very thankful for the people that he is involved with in this journey.
There is no lack of substance in the words that are expressed in 42 minutes, 11 track albums, or the songs you find on YouTube. “It’s a long road to wisdom/It takes a short one to being ignored,” might just sum up why it took so long for these guys to put out an album from the opening track “Flowers In Your Hair.” Perfection takes time, and if you were to ask Santa for the perfect album for Christmas, I would not be shocked if he put this self-titled debut under the tree.