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The Lumineers, a folk-rock trio out of Denver, Colorado, deliver an acoustic-based Americana sound that touches a lot of stylistic bases, from folk to gospel to heartland rock and the narrative end of country, all with interesting rhythmic twists and turns. The band had its beginnings in 2002 when Jeremiah Fraites lost his 19-year-old brother Josh to a drug overdose. Fraites and his brother's best friend, Wesley Schultz, turned to music to deal with their sorrow, and were soon writing songs and gigging together in the New York area as a duo. After relocating to Denver, the pair met classically trained multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek after placing a Craigslist ad for a cellist, and things clicked for the trio, who began playing open-mike nights at the Meadowlark -- a basement club where local songwriters gathered -- developing a fresh sound that defies tight classification (although front porch Americana might cover it), with a touch of gospel stomp tossed in. The Lumineers released a demo EP in 2009, following it with an eponymous EP in 2011. A proper first album, again simply called The Lumineers, appeared from Dualtone Records in 2012. The album was critically praised and a single from it, the infectious "Ho Hey," which had long been the centerpiece of the band's impressive live sets, ended up breaking into Top 10 markets globally, going double platinum and more in sales and downloads. The band crossed and re-crossed the globe touring in support of it, and their solid stage show garnered scores of new fans across multiple markets. ~ Steve Leggett
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2002 in Denver, CO