Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:50 pm
Few bands would categorize their sound as "mountaintop chamber music," yet The Last Bison's classical-influenced Southern folk-rock actually fits the bill. The septet emerged from the marshes of Chesapeake, Va., a couple years ago, and has since made a name for itself with its complex arrangements, refined lyrics and vocal harmonies. Singer-guitarist Ben Hardesty is the group's primary songwriter, and his style recalls the work of Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes.
Southern Louisiana in the early 1960s was a hotbed of musical creativity among youngsters who'd been raised listening to French-language country music and Fats Domino. They combined those — and other — influences to make what's now called "swamp pop." Joe Barry was a pioneer in this area who should have been much bigger.