When I was researching “Top 8 (Non-Country) Southern Bands,” I realized that I was mistaken about the origins of several bands I had just assumed were Southern. Turns out just because someone can shred a banjo or has some soul in them doesn’t automatically mean they are from the South. I know. It shocked me, too. The following are some of the bands who do a really good job of fooling our ears into thinking they hail from below the Mason-Dixon. Maybe we’ll claim them anyway because they are all so good.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Trickiest Song: “Home”
Really? A song that begins with the lyrics, “Alabama, Arkansas, I sure love my ma and pa,” isn’t written and performed by Southerners? Turns out Edward Sharpe isn’t even the guy’s real name. Scalawags.
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Trickiest Song: “Blue Ridge Mountains”
Many of their songs have a dreamy quality that is a nod to their Pacific Northwest roots, which is also reminiscent of South Carolina’s own Iron and Wine. The song mentioned above is actually about not going to Tennessee, but the draw the South is obviously still there.
Lake Street Dive
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Trickiest Song: “You Go Down Smooth”
They sing about drinking and lovers we keep around even though we know they aren’t good for us. See? Bad decisions in bars aren’t just a Southern thing.
Mumford and Sons
Hometown: London, England
Trickiest Song: “Roll Away Your Stone”
Many of their songs could possibly be about Jesus, and remind us that the origins of bluegrass and country music are from our ancestors who immigrated from the United Kingdom and Ireland. They also dress like extras from a movie about Amish Farmer Fashion School rejects, but I doubt England or The South wants to claim that part.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Hometown: Waitsfield, Vermont
Trickiest Song: “Stars”
Talk about an amazing live band. They are like a harder-edged Alison Krauss + Union Station with Carrie Underwood’s legs. Speaking of whom, I couldn’t be more shocked by…
Hometown: Decatur, Illinois
Trickiest Song: Uh, all of them! But my favorite is “Forget About It”
Sure, she has the voice of an angel and plays a mean fiddle, but she’s actually from the Midwest. Tricky trickster, that Alison Krauss.
Image Source: PR Photos