Though folk music has been around for ages, the resurgence of folk and the birth of folk-rock has seen many a band (and banjo) come and go. Oftentimes, albums that haven’t been displayed at the counter of popular cafes, are overlooked by the masses, and yet these gems usually prove their staying power. The Hoxton Mob, is definitely a band worthy of a download (and a click of the “repeat all” tab), and if you lend your ears to their sound, I’m certain you’ll agree.
The California based group formed when Eoin P. Galvin & Kenton E. Latham combined forces to mend their broken hearts through the therapy of songwriting. What started as a duo writing break-up songs, soon evolved into a tightly-knit ensemble of poetic folk genius. Patrick JM Galvin joined, followed by Brandon Skuobo, and their sound finally seemed complete. The band’s first self-titled album is a masterpiece of time they’ve captured in 11 songs. They carefully chose to surround themselves with an artistically gifted group of friends to create their album, and they impressed enough listeners to have their album funded by their Kickstarter campaign. Greg Ashley (the Gris Gris) and Yea-Ming Chen (DreamDate and Yea-Ming and The Rumours) mastered their album, while they recorded in Will Holtz’s San Francisco and Oakland home studios. Another friend Charlotte Cooper designed the album. Being surrounded by people with whom they could entrust their music, ensured their outpouring of emotions and talent would translate from mind, page and rehearsals, to final recordings.
The Hoxton Mob, to me, is reminiscent of Matthew and the Atlas and Dan Mangan, with Ben Folds’ sweet complexity, mixed with a slight hint of Patrick Watson’s whimsy. It is an ideal blend of warm folk instrumentals and sublime harmonies. Their sound is timeless enough to appeal to fans of country, and college rock alike. They’re that band that you happen to be hearing in a bar, who you then solely focus on for the rest of the night. You’ll be reeled-in instantly, with their seemingly universal tales of woe, and life lessons learned, paired with musical mastery of both upbeat and tranquil songs.
It’s their ability to share with listeners, their once sparkling and now tarnished hearts, that can satisfy the 20 somethings in the crowd, and their parents. Their music is intelligent, yet breezy; flickers of light in a familiar darkness, much like their home of San Francisco. Once two heart-broken men, scribbling out songs of love lost, and now a resilient gang of talented lads playing to mesmerized crowds, The Hoxton Mob is most assuredly worth a download (AND a click of the “repeat all” tab).
The Hoxton Mob are:
Eoin P. Galvin (harmonies, resonator guitar, banjo, organaire)
Kenton E. Latham (singer, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, trumpet, drums)
Patrick JM Galvin (violin, chord organ)
Brandon Skuobo (cello)