The Last Bison landed at the NorVa Saturday night with the home-court advantage that comes of originating from one city over. Their fans were in strong attendance, and the band served up a crowd pleasing set that left everyone happy.
The group has come a long way since it's early days forming out of a high school band, with a sound that draws equal parts inspiration from groups like the Decemberists, Mumford & Sons, or Arcade Fire -- but finely filtered through the musical strainer of a chamber music tradition with antebellum roots. If you like the Hunts? If you're a fan of Bombadil or the Oh Hellos? If you adore the Lumineers? You'll love The Last Bison. The group's most recent offering, 2018's Suda, conveys more textured, layered sonics then precious efforts -- it's easy to trace the evolution of some old timey mountain man music like Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys or the Stanley Brothers into this aesthetic. There is much to fall in love with here.
I was unfamiliar with The Collection prior to this evening, but I walked away thoroughly impressed. There's a lot of similarities between them and the headliner, but whereas The Last Bison is more deeply rooted in Southern Folk, this band pulls in more influences along the lines of Of Monsters and Men, with bits and pieces of something like very Cold Harbor Bound era Billy Joel in its lyrical affluence. Formed out of David Wimbish's solo efforts, this band is a party on the stage with energy to spare.
Not Kevin, aka Cameron Smith of Bonne Chere fame from out of RVA kicked the night off with a set of solo acoustic numbers. His music is soulful and stirring, I'm reminded more than a little of early 90s Jude. I look forward to hearing more of it.
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The Last Bison
Greensboro. Folk Rock.
Virginia Beach. Acoustic Singer/Songwriter.