Nominated for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album, this was the first time the Denver, CO threesome have graced the stage at the GRAMMYs. Along with Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers are seen as the leaders in the folk-rock revival, having sold more than half a million copies of their self-titled debut album.
Accompanied by two additional full-time members, Stelth Ulvang on piano and Ben Wahamaki on bass, the band performed a spirited version of “Ho Hey,” the band’s double-platinum single. As the five bandmates stood on a stage as bare as their music, Melissa Ethridge and Taylor Swift belted out the chorus from the front row of the audience.
Speaking before Bonnie Raitt took the Best Americana Album GRAMMY and fun., who stole Best New Artist, the band joked about their chances of winning. “We have no shot. We’re smoked,” joked drummer Jeremiah Fraites. “fun. has an eighth of a billion views on YouTube so they’ll probably win.”
“I’m glad there’s a space for a band like us because maybe a couple of years ago there might not have been,” added Schultz.
The Lumineers’ sing-along “Ho Hey,” stormed up the charts last year, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 at Alternative Radio and #2 at Top 40; not bad for a band that met one of their key members on Craiglist. After declaring New York City’s cost of living too high, founding members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites moved to Colorado and placed an ad for a cellist. It was there that they found the prettiest of the three, Neyla Pekarek.
We’re not reinventing the wheel or doing anything that different,” Fraites told The Crimson White, “The songs are super simple. Anyone who can play an instrument can play a Lumineers song.”
Despite their GRAMMY losses, the band’s career trajectory is headed for the stratosphere with their current single “Stubborn Love” taking hold at rock and top 40 radio and launching into an international tour next week.
– Jay Tilles, CBS Local