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Inspired by folk, rock, country, and bluegrass, the London-based, platinum-selling Mumford & Sons feature singer/guitarist/drummer Marcus Mumford, vocalist and banjo/Dobro player Winston Marshall, vocalist/keyboardist Ben Lovett, and vocalist/bassist Ted Dwane. The foursome started playing together in 2007; though they were playing with other bands at the time, they bonded over their shared love of rootsy music. Mumford & Sons quickly became a part of London's underground folk scene, which included acts like Laura Marling and Noah and the Whale. By late autumn 2007, the band was writing songs and playing shows frequently, leading to a gig at 2008's Glastonbury Festival. That June, their self-titled debut EP arrived, followed by the Love Your Ground EP that December.
In May 2009, the Cave and the Open Sea EP was released; meanwhile, Mumford & Sons signed to Island Records and worked with producer Markus Dravs (the Arcade Fire, Maccabees) on their first full-length. That summer, the single "Little Lion Man" became the first taste of their new material; it was named Hottest Record in the World This Week by BBC 1 Radio DJ Zane Lowe in July. The group was short-listed for the BBC's Sound of 2009 Poll shortly before its debut album, Sigh No More, was released that winter. It was issued a year later in America on the Glassnote Records label and sold over a million copies between the two countries. The group's second studio album, the much anticipated Babel, arrived in September 2012. The album would become a commercial hit, topping the Billboard charts before going platinum in the U.S. Recorded live over two nights at Colorado's legendary Red Rock amphitheater, the band's first live film/recording, Road to Red Rocks, followed in late 2012.
Mumford & Sons are a British folk rock band. The band consists of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion, drums), Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, guitar, resonator guitar, dobro) and Ted Dwane (vocals, string bass, drums, guitar). Mumford & Sons were formed in December 2007, emerging from West London with such artists as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Noah and the Whale.
Mumford & Sons recorded an EP, "Love Your Ground", and performed in small to medium-sized venues in the UK and the US playing to new audiences and raising interest for a forthcoming album. Their debut album, Sigh No More, was released in the UK and Ireland in October 2009, and February 2010 in the US. The album reached number one in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and eventually peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and the Billboard 200 in the US. The band gained popularity throughout 2010, performing for larger audiences and making their first network television appearances in the US. On 1 December 2010, the band received two Grammy Award nominations, one for Best New Artist and the other for Best Rock Song ("Little Lion Man"). The ensuing live performance at the Grammy ceremony in February 2011 led to an increased airplay and popularity for singles from Sigh No More. The band won the ARIA Music Award for Most Popular International Artist in 2010, and the Brit Award in 2011 for Best British Album.
The band's second studio album Babel was released in September 2012. The album debuted at number one in the UK and US, becoming the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK, and the second-biggest selling debut in 2012 in the US. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, they sang "I Will Wait" and Babel won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 2013 the band won a Brit Award for Best British Group. On 20 September 2013, the band announced they were going on hiatus for a "considerable amount of time." Despite never achieving a top-10 single, the act has been credited with influencing a variety of popular music, including other pop-folk groups like The Lumineers and EDM artists like Avicii."Mumford & Sons' New Album Announcement". Retrieved 23 July 2012. Cite error: The named reference BabelUK was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference BabelUS was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Mumford and Sons taking a break"". The Huffington Post. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ""Timber" by Pitbull ft. Kesha is no. 1 song in America, mixes club beats and country music.". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
ContentsCareer1.1 Early years: 2007–20081.2 Sigh No More: 2009–20101.3 Babel: 2011–20131.4 Third studio album: 2014–present
Early years: 2007–2008
Mumford & Sons were formed in December 2007 by multi-instrumentalists Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane. Band members play guitar, drums, keyboard instruments, bass guitar, and traditional folk instruments such as banjo, mandolin and resonator guitar. The band name originates from the fact that Marcus Mumford was the most visible member, organising the band and their performances. Lovett indicated that the name was meant to invoke the sense of an "antiquated family business name".
A handful of similar bands were increasing their visibility in West London around the same time, giving rise to the label "West London folk scene". Mumford downplays that characterisation as an exaggeration—Mumford & Sons and a few other folk acts just happened to be operating in the same general area at the time. In an interview with the Herald Sun, Marcus Mumford said, "It's not folk really. Well, some of it is, and it's certainly not a scene. Someone got over-excited about a few bands who live in a hundred-mile radius and put it in a box to sell it as a package. It's a community, not a scene. It's not exclusive." Having developed in the same musical and cultural environment, Mumford & Sons' sound has been compared to that of artists such as Noah and the Whale, Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling, for whom Marcus Mumford used to drum.
In early 2008 the band began working with manager Adam Tudhope, who, as part of management company Everybody's, also represents Keane and Laura Marling. It was through Tudhope's connection that Mumford & Sons were exposed to their future A&R at Island, Louis Bloom, who began monitoring the band. Bloom told HitQuarters that they were still at a fledgling state and not yet ready for a label deal: "There was no one there for it, just a few friends, and they needed time to develop. Over the next six months I kept going to see them and they were literally picking up fans every time."
In February 2008, the band completed an extensive UK tour with support from Alessi's Ark, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Peggy Sue and others. June 2008 marked the band's first appearance at the Glastonbury Festival. They also toured Australia with Laura Marling, whose disinclination to interact with audiences encouraged Mumford into the spotlight. The experience helped inform his attitude towards Mumford & Sons audiences, which is to interact frequently and to try to create a comfortable, casual atmosphere. Mumford & Sons' first project was an EP entitled Love Your Ground which took a year to complete and was released in November 2008 on Chess Club Records.
Sigh No More: 2009–2010
Throughout 2008 and into 2009, Mumford & Sons performed in small to moderate venues in the UK and US, exposing audiences to Love Your Ground tracks and other material that would eventually become Sigh No More. The band finally recorded Sigh No More with Markus Dravs, who had produced albums with artists such as Arcade Fire. At the time, band members did not even own their own instruments—Dravs initially turned them away when they showed up at the recording sessions empty-handed. The only track from Love Your Ground to be included on Sigh No More was "Little Lion Man". The band told the Herald Sun that they self-financed the album to avoid the artistic and technical compromises that sometimes befall studio-financed projects. They toured again in support of Laura Marling in 2009, and Mumford & Sons were contributing musicians to her 2010 album I Speak Because I Can.
In August 2009, Mumford & Sons signed a licensing deal to Island Records in the UK, to Dew Process in Australia and New Zealand, to Glassnote Records in North America and Cooperative Music in the rest of the world, and through its own label Gentlemen of the Road. Dew Process boss Paul Piticco signed the band after witnessing a US performance in 2009 and appreciating their "honest" approach and unique sound. Their debut album was released on 5 October 2009 with "Little Lion Man" as the lead single.
Dave Berry of XFM named "Little Lion Man" his record of the week, and in another interview with the band, Berry said "Screw 'of the week', it's my favourite track of the year." BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe made "Little Lion Man" his "Reaction Record" on 27 July 2009, before naming it the "Hottest Record in the World" the following evening.
In their first performance on US network television, the band played "Little Lion Man" on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on 17 February 2010. This appearance was followed by a performance of "The Cave" on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on 26 February 2010. Mumford & Sons have been commercially successful in Australia and New Zealand. By January 2010 "Little Lion Man" topped the Triple J Hottest 100 list for all of 2009, with its margin of victory the largest in the history of the chart. In November 2010, the band won an ARIA Music Award for Most Popular International Artist. Sigh No More first reached number 9 on the New Zealand charts in October 2010, and subsequently topped the chart in January 2011 due to the popularity of the singles from the album.
In a March 2010 interview, Ray Davies announced that Mumford & Sons will be appearing on his forthcoming collaborations album. Marcus Mumford confirmed this in an interview the same month, stating, "I am more excited about that than I have been about anything before in my life". Mumford & Sons performed the track "Days/This Time Tomorrow" along with Davies on 12 February 2010 on Later... with Jools Holland.
In December 2010, Mumford & Sons earned Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Song ("Little Lion Man"). While they did not go on to win an award, the band performed their single "The Cave" at the Grammy ceremony. The performance earned positive media attention and boosted visibility for Sigh No More—US sales increased by 99% in the period following the ceremony in February 2011. The album subsequently peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and the Billboard 200 in the US.
On 7 December 2010, in collaboration with Dharohar Project and Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons released an EP album recorded in Delhi, India. The album was recorded in a makeshift studio with traditional Rajasthani musicians and features four collaborations, including multicultural mash-ups of Marling's "Devil's Spoke" and Mumford & Sons' "To Darkness." Sigh No More is certified 2x Platinum in the US and 4x Platinum in the UK.
The band continued to grow in popularity in 2011, winning several major awards and headlining larger shows and festivals. In February 2011, they received a European Border Breakers Award for their international success. They received a Brit Award for British Album of the Year with Sigh No More and performed "Timshel" at the ceremony. UK sales of the album subsequently increased by 266 percent. While touring the United States in early 2011, the band began writing songs for the follow-up album. Keyboardist Ben Lovett credited the creative atmosphere of Nashville, Tennessee with easing the songwriting process. While performing in Kansas City, Missouri on 3 June, the first stop of their US tour, the band announced they had been recording a new album, initially set to be released in late 2011. They then performed several new tracks from the forthcoming album, the title of which was not revealed.
In April 2011 the group joined Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on the inaugural Railroad Revival Tour, which was inspired by the Festival Express tour across Canada in 1970 that included Buddy Guy, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and The Band. Travelling exclusively in vintage rail cars, the three bands performed in six "unique outdoor locations" over the course of a week starting in Oakland, California. Ketch Secor of Old Crow told American Songwriter that "It’s like we left all our baggage at home and just brought our instruments," often writing new songs while on the train. "We were just on these old rattling rails. It was a railroad odyssey that would have made Woody and Doc tip their hats and blow their whistles," he says. They appear in the musical documentary Big Easy Express, directed by Emmett Malloy, being made of the trip which premiered March 2012 at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW Film) in Austin, Texas—winning the Headliner Audience Award. The film went on to win "Best Long Form Video" at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Mumford & Sons played at the Glastonbury Festival on Friday 24 June 2011, and then embarked on a North American tour on which they frequently performed songs from the upcoming album. They recorded two songs for Andrea Arnold's adaptation of Wuthering Heights, one of which (entitled "Enemy") is featured during the closing credits. In June 2012, Mumford & Sons contributed the song "Learn Me Right" with Birdy to the Pixar film Brave, which came to be called "Not with Haste".
On 16 July 2012, Mumford & Sons officially announced the details of their second studio album Babel, including the release date of 24 September 2012 and a track listing of 12 songs. A deluxe edition containing three exclusive songs was also announced. A week later, the album became available for pre-order. The lead single "I Will Wait" premiered on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on 7 August. Their performance of I will wait at Glastonbury has been repeatedly used throughout each night for most of 2013 on BBC 2 as part of the channels self-promotion. On 29 August 2012, Mumford & Sons recorded their concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. The Concert was later released on DVD, Vinyl and on iTunes as "Road to Red Rocks". The performance of "I Will Wait" from the concert was released ahead of the DVD on 9 September as the band's official video for the song. On 22 September 2012, the band performed two songs from the new album, "I Will Wait" and "Below My Feet", on Saturday Night Live.
Babel debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200. It became the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK, selling over 158,000 copies in its first week, and was the biggest selling debut of any album in 2012 in the US, selling 600,000 in its first week, and over a million worldwide.
In December 2012, Winston Marshall told NME that the band was rehearsing and writing for their next album.
The first phase of a 2013 world tour in support of Babel was released in November 2012. Their Gentlemen of the Road tour continued through 2013. After performing two shows on 8 & 9 June 2013 at the Austin360 Amphitheater in Austin, Texas, United States, bassist Ted Dwane checked himself into a hospital the next day. Surgeons found a blood clot on the surface of his brain and performed surgery on Dwane to remove it. Heeding medical advice to aid Dwane's recovery, the band cancelled the rest of its Summer Stampede Tour, including performances at the 2013 Bonnaroo Music Festival and returned to the United Kingdom. Dwane's surgery was successful, and his recovery was such that the band managed to headline Glastonbury Festival.
After first including select stopover cities in their 2012 Tour, the band decided to once again select five cities throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to play host to a two day festival with continual shows on multiple stages as well as various other activities and performances. The first stopover of the 2013 Gentleman of the Road tour was in Lewes, England from 19 to 20 July. Next was Simcoe, Ontario from 23 to 24 August, followed by Troy, Ohio from 30 to 31 August. The band rounded out their tour with stopovers in Guthrie, Oklahoma on 6 and 7 September and finally St. Augustine, Florida on 13 and 14 September. The Vaccines, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Vampire Weekend, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yacht Club DJs, Alabama Shakes and various other bands also performed at many of the stopovers throughout the tour.
On 20 September 2013, they announced they were going on hiatus for a "considerable amount of time.". "There won't be any Mumford & Sons activities for the foreseeable future following Friday's show," said Ben Lovett, the keyboardist, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Marcus Mumford joked that he encouraged rumours of the band's break-up to circulate so that they could have a "big comeback tour next year".
Third studio album: 2014–present
In December 2013, the band's bassist, Ted Dwane, stated that the band would be meeting to write new music in February 2014. Then on 20 July 2014, Ben Lovett confirmed that they are currently recording their third studio album in London.
The folk rock group have begun work on a handful of new songs at Eastcote Studios in Kensal Town, west London, the same studio where they recorded their debut album Sigh No More. They intend to release the record in early 2015. "But very early work and sessions have begun quietly on album number three. They haven't announced anything officially because they don't want to be under lots of pressure. At this point, it's still more likely the album will be released at some point next year – unless things move very quickly."
It is rumored that the band will be working with James Ford, producer for Arctic Monkeys and HAIM, on their third studio album.
It has been confirmed that Mumford and Sons will be performing at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music Festival which takes place in Manchester, Tennessee between June 11th and 14th, 2015.Betts, Marianne (25 March 2010). "Mumford & Sons have taken Australia by storm". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 January 2011. ""London – Radio – Mumford and Sons"". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Collis, Clark (4 March 2011). "Mumford and Sons: Ben Lovett talks about playing with Dylan, recording with Ray Davies, and high-fiving R. Kelly". Entertainment Weekly Music Mix. Retrieved 6 January 2011. Walker, Tim (28 July 2008). "Mumford & Sons, The Luminaire, London". The Independent. Retrieved 29 December 2010. "Interview With Louis Bloom". HitQuarters. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011. ""Mumford And Sons: 'We were banished from studio by producer'"". NME.COM. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ""BBC Sound of 2009: Mumford & Sons"". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Lowe, Zane (27 July 2009). "Tracklisting – Monday 27 July 2009". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 8 July 2011. Lowe, Zane (28 July 2009). "Tracklisting – Tuesday 28 July 2009". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 8 July 2011. ""Mumford And Sons censor 'Little Lion Man' for David Letterman"". NME.COM. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Gregg, Natalie (27 January 2010). "Aussies rock in Triple J's Hottest 100". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 21 February 2011. Collett-White, Mike (20 November 2010). "Mumford & Sons top ARIA Awards". Billboard 122 (46): p. 32. "International Charts: Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More rallies around globe". Music Week: p. 28 (22 January 2011). Uricheck, Mark (15 March 2010). "THE MUSICIAN'S VOICE: A Chat With The Legendary Ray Davies". Themusiciansvoice.blogspot.com. Retrieved 24 January 2011. "BBC – Later live... with Jools Holland: Ray Davies & Mumford and Sons – Days/This Time Tomorrow". BBC. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Gundersen, Edna (24 February 2011). "A Grammy performance is good for business". USA Today. Retrieved 6 March 2011. ""Mumford & Sons reach UK and US million sales landmark"". NME.COM. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "'Now 37' Livens Up Billboard 200 at No. 1, Mumford Climb to No. 2". Billboard. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "Chart Stats: UK Album Chart (26 February 2011)". Archive.is. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "US Certifications database". http://www.riaa.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "British Certification database". Bpi.co.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ""Winners of the 2011 European Border Breakers Awards"". Ec.europa.eu. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Montgomery, James (17 February 2011). "Mumford & Sons write Sigh No More follow-up while touring US". MTV. Retrieved 7 March 2011. "Setlist.fm 2011". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 25 September 2012. Garvanin, Sinead (27 February 2012). "Mumford's railroad revival: The band boarded the Big Easy Express for a US tour with a difference". BBC Radio: 6 Music News.  Moss, Marissa (27 April 2012). "Mumford & Co. Chase The American Dream in Big Easy Express". American Songwriter. Retrieved 5 June 2012. Hoffman, Hannah (23 October 2012). "Q & A with Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show". The DePaulia. Retrieved 25 October 2012. "SXSW Film Announces 2012 Features Lineup; 'Big Easy Express' to Close Festival" by Nigel M. Smith, IndieWire; 1 February 2012. Fernandez, Jay A. (19 March 2012). "SXSW 2012: 'Big Easy Express' Wins Headliner Audience Award: Emmett Malloy's film follows folk rock bands on the road" The Hollywood Reporter. "" Grammy; 19 February 2013. "Glastonbury Festival". BBC. Retrieved 25 September 2012. Jagernuth, Kevin (23 May 2011). "Mumford & Sons Record New Song "Enemy" For Andrea Arnold’s ‘Wuthering Heights’". Indie Wire. Retrieved 23 May 2011. Bryko (1 May 2012). "First Details on 'Brave' Soundtrack! (UPDATE)". Upcoming Pixar. Retrieved 5 May 2012. ""Mumford & Sons announce details of new album, 'Babel'"". Telegraph.co.uk. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "Mumford & Sons' 'Babel' to be Released Sept. 25". The Hollywood Reporter. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. ""Mumford & Sons track played for first time on Radio 1"". BBC News. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "LISTEN: Mumford & Sons unveil new single 'I Will Wait'". Clixie. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. ""Mumford & Sons Match Grandeur of Red Rocks on 'I Will Wait'"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Logan Nicklaus (23 September 2012). "Mumford & Sons Save the Day on 'SNL'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 September 2012. ""New Mumford & Sons album Babel is fastest seller of 2012 in UK and US"". the Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ""Mumford & Sons' 'Babel' Scores Biggest Debut of Year, Bows at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart"". Billboard. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "Mumford & Sons: 'We're already working on new songs' 2012". NME. Retrieved 6 December 2012. Studio Juice, Ltd. "Mumford & Sons – Live". Mumfordandsons.com. Retrieved 14 November 2012. "BONNAROO & US TOUR - A STATEMENT FROM THE BAND". Mumfordandsons.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers 2013 - Mumford & Sons". Gentlemenoftheorad.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Cite error: The named reference huffingtonpost.com was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Kepler, Adam W. (22 September 2013). "Mumford & Sons Taking a Break". The New York Times. "Mumford and Sons Breakup Not True, Says Band's Rep". The Huffington Post. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Kat. "Mumford will start writing for new album"". MumsonFans.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Kat. "Ben Lovett Announces his Engagement and Work on New Album". MumsonFans.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. "Mumford and Sons back in the studio". Irishexaminer.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Kat. "Mumford and Sons working with Arctic Monkeys Producer". MumsonFans.com. Retrieved 17 October 2014. Kat. "Mumford and Sons Confirmed Headlining 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival". MumsonFans.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
Musical style and influences
The band uses bluegrass and folk instrumentation, such as a banjo, upright bass, mandolin and piano, played with a rhythmic style based in alternative rock and folk. Much of Mumford & Sons' lyrical content has a strong literary influence, its debut album name deriving from William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. The track "Sigh No More" includes lines from the play such as Serve God love me and mend, For man is a giddy thing, and One foot in sea and one on shore. The title of the song "Roll Away Your Stone" is an allusion to Macbeth; the song includes the line Stars hide your fires/ And these here are my desires which borrows and pares down Macbeth's line in act 1, scene 4: Stars, hide your fires,/ Let not light see my black and deep desires. In an interview, Mumford was quoted as saying, "You can rip off Shakespeare all you like; no lawyer's going to call you up on that one."
Additionally, "The Cave" includes several references to The Odyssey, in particular the sirens that Odysseus encounters on his journey home. The song also contains many references to G.K. Chesterton's book, St. Francis of Assisi, in which Chesterton uses Plato's Cave as a way of explaining how St. Francis views the world from God's perspective. In addition, the song "Little Lion Man" appears to be a retelling in dramatic monologue form of Chretien de Troyes' Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, which is the story of a knight who goes mad after betraying a promise to his wife to return to her.
"Here's the elevator pitch on Mumford & Sons: U2 meets Old Crow Medicine Show at Bruce Springsteen's house. They have Old Crow's rootsy instrumentation and vintage wardrobe, and they share the Boss' heart-on-the-sleeve sincerity and world-conquering ambition. From U2 the band takes a melodramatic sense of musical dynamics, and singer-lyricist Marcus Mumford models Bono's strategy for rendering spiritual longing in terms that are accessible to a post-Christian world."—Danny Duncan Collum, U.S. Catholic
Both "Timshel" and "Dust Bowl Dance" draw heavily from the John Steinbeck novels Of Mice and Men, East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath. Mumford, in an interview, even compared touring to a Steinbeck adventure: "[Steinbeck] talked about how a journey is a thing of its own, and you can't plan it or predict it too much because that suffocates the life out of it. That's kind of what touring is like. Even though there's a structure—you know what towns you're going to, and that you'll be playing a gig—pretty much anything can happen."
In the documentary Big Easy Express, Marcus Mumford recognises the Old Crow Medicine Show influence: "I first heard Old Crow’s music when I was, like, 16, 17, and that really got me into, like, folk music, bluegrass. I mean, I’d listened to a lot of Dylan, but I hadn’t really ventured into the country world so much. So Old Crow were the band that made me fall in love with country music." Mumford acknowledges that "the band inspired them to pick up the banjo and start their now famous country nights in London." Ketch Secor, Old Crow front-man, concurs: "Those boys took the message and ran with it."
Emmylou Harris was "among the gateway artists who helped Mumford and bandmates Ben Lovett, Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall discover their love for American roots music. It started with the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack ... That eventually led them to the Old Crow Medicine Show and then deep immersion in old-timey sounds from America's long-neglected past."
Not every critic is impressed with the group's style. Ian Brennan, writing in Guitar Player, lamented that "a band like Mumford & Sons unplugs and bulldozes all of the subtlety out of a working-class art form. The degree of artificiality that we are steeped in had deepened to such a degree that a group of aristocratic Brits (one of whom [Winston Marshall] is the son of a billionaire who is among the richest men in England) can ride to the top of the charts and win an Americana award with hardly a soul batting an eye.""MACBETH, Act 1 Scene 4". Shakespeare-navigators.com. Retrieved 24 September 2012. Pearson, Rick (9 November 2009) ""The bookshop band Mumford & Sons"". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Collum, Danny Duncan (3 November 2012). "Listen: Babel, by Mumford & Sons". U.S. Catholic. Retrieved 3 November 2012. Hight, Jewly (30 August 2012). "Old Crow Medicine Show: The Wheel Of Life". American Songwriter. Retrieved 5 September 2012. Talbott, Chris (8 August 2012). "Old Crow Medicine Show starts new chapter with ‘Carry Me Back’". The Tennessean. Retrieved 26 September 2012. Talbott, Chris (26 September 2012). "Emmylou, Mumford & Sons team for 'CMT Crossroads'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 September 2012. Brennan, Ian (September 2013). "Music from the Majority of the Planet: The Myth of Authenticity". Guitar Player. p. 142. Retrieved 31 July 2013.