- Posted on Mar 17th 2011 7:40PM by Charley Rogulewski
Charley Rogulewski for AOL
During their SXSW 2011 showcase on the Austin Convention Center's Day Radio Stage on Wednesday, the Head and the Heart placed a firm stamp on the new decade's neo-folk revival -- a resurgence that took bands like the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons to the Grammy stage and mainstream radio this year. And the Head and the Heart have the lyrics and musicianship to do the same.
Songs by this Seattle five-man-and-one-woman operation start with frontman Jonathan Russell softly lamenting the troubles of life, as he did today on the band's standout 'Lost in My Mind': "Oh, my brother your wisdom is older than me/Oh, my brother don't you worry about me."
Soon more help chimes in by way of singer-violinist Charity Rose Thielen and guitarist Josiah Johnson, the latter who jumps around from one mic to another for the vocal harmonies that draw them comparisons to Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Beatles.
But don't start daydreaming for too long; midway through one of their well-crafted songs, drummer Tyler Williams wakes things up -- with added grit from piano player Kenny Hensley and bassist Chris Zasch -- when the band tornadoes into foot-stomping Americana that leaves you feeling like you've just been baptized by the lords of folk-rock.
The Head and the Heart released their self-titled debut album in 2010 and already have a pretty good buzz -- 11,000 fans on their Facebook page, a record deal with Sub Pop Records -- going for them. But we're going to warn you: The hardest part about listening to these Seattle natives is resisting the urge to clap along and join in on one of the group's "oo-ooh" choruses.
We caught up with The Head and the Heart's violinist right after their performance, where she brought us into her makeshift violin corner and told us a little bit about herself.
Check out the video below, and check out the band as soon as they hit your town. And we mean, like, now.