Lulu Mae
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Lulu Mae

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Rock

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Review by Philip Obenschain (@pobenschain). Photos by Jake Giles Netter.

As Live on the Green winds down to a close tonight, with Moon Taxi, The Weeks, and The Wild Feathers, we’re taking a look back at last week’s alliteration filled lineup of Local Natives, Leagues, and Lulu Mae (at Live on the Green presented by Lightning 100). Headliners Local Natives were my most-anticipated band of the season, and an act I’ve caught on several occasions in the past, but never before in Nashville (and never from the side of the stage). Needless to say, this was my favorite night so far, in a season that has truly offered something for everyone, week after week.


Lulu Mae

Music City Mayhem winners Lulu Mae were literally voted in by the people of Nashville- and rightfully so. Live on the Green was my first chance catching the fun, folky rockers and, despite the fact that they felt a bit out of place on the more indie rock-leaning lineup (not that LotG lineups always match like bands), they completely held their own. With dense, diverse instrumentation, an eclectic and balanced style, and a respectable confidence and stage presence (if they’ve never played to a crowd this large before, I sure couldn’t tell), they immediately earned a new fan in me. - No Country for New Nashville


Review by Philip Obenschain (@pobenschain). Photos by Jake Giles Netter.

As Live on the Green winds down to a close tonight, with Moon Taxi, The Weeks, and The Wild Feathers, we’re taking a look back at last week’s alliteration filled lineup of Local Natives, Leagues, and Lulu Mae (at Live on the Green presented by Lightning 100). Headliners Local Natives were my most-anticipated band of the season, and an act I’ve caught on several occasions in the past, but never before in Nashville (and never from the side of the stage). Needless to say, this was my favorite night so far, in a season that has truly offered something for everyone, week after week.


Lulu Mae

Music City Mayhem winners Lulu Mae were literally voted in by the people of Nashville- and rightfully so. Live on the Green was my first chance catching the fun, folky rockers and, despite the fact that they felt a bit out of place on the more indie rock-leaning lineup (not that LotG lineups always match like bands), they completely held their own. With dense, diverse instrumentation, an eclectic and balanced style, and a respectable confidence and stage presence (if they’ve never played to a crowd this large before, I sure couldn’t tell), they immediately earned a new fan in me. - No Country for New Nashville


It’s usually pretty cool when you see a couple jamming out on stage together, but what about two couples and a pair of brothers? That was the case at The 5 Spot last weekend as Lulu Mae took the stage on Saturday night. At it’s core, Lulu Mae is Joel Finley, Sarah Mashburn Finley, Adam Smith, Jen Smith, Ben Smith, “adopted” brother Anthony Mangin, and hired drummer - a rare seven-piece multi-family rock band. Their close friendship is the fuel that enhances the strength they have in creating music together, but they’re also inspired by artists like Johnny Cash, Iron & Wine, and Ryan Adams. Lulu Mae made their initial debut in 2010 with the release of an EP, Everything in the Whole Wide World. A year later, the band received help from friends and fans on Kickstarter to fund their full-length debut album, The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree. ”Fiction of Speed” is quite possibly my favorite song on the record.



What a great build at the end of that song. On first listen, you don’t feel it coming until you’re there, in the middle of a polyrhythmic bassline amidst trumpet lines, claps, driving drums, melodica, soaring vocals, and more. ”If love is instant, then I don’t want it,” sings lead singer Joel Finely with his wife Sarah. It’s part of the band’s commitment to “offering sincere, universally relevant expressions of everything that comes with the human experience, relationships, and love.” In a live setting, his vocals grab your attention even more, with similarities to the vocal style of Marcus Mumford (Yes, of Mumford & Sons). The phrasing, tone, and grit are brighter than on the album, but are nonetheless a great blend with Lulu Mae’s sound on the record. It’s the final track on the album, following Lulu Mae’s bluegrass folk jam and title track, “The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree.” This song showcases Lulu Mae’s diverse range of instruments and strong vocals, and the Nashville Scene claims, it “might just renew your faith in the possibilities of love.”



If you’re interested in hearing more music from Lulu Mae, click on the album art below. It will take you to their website where you can browse tour dates, discover videos, and maybe get some Lulu Mae swag while you’re at it. Remember to listen to more music!
- Music Without Labels


Tomorrow, fellow bloggers at Cause a Scene are hosting a house show featuring Lulu Mae, The Local Strangers, and Jessee Lafser. If you had the chance to catch Lulu Mae last Saturday at Lightning 100's Music City Mayhem finals you already know that this will be a show well-worth the $6 price of admission, but in case you didn’t, let me try to convince you:

You can get a pretty good idea of who Lulu Mae are by poking around their website. They’re a disarmingly good-natured folk-rock family band with a knack for storytelling. During a quick listen through Lulu Mae’s first full-length record The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree (no, it’s not an Iron and Wine album), you might at different points be reminded of Nickel Creek, Ryan Adams, and The Decembrists, and occasionally, maybe even some Gaelic Storm. What you might not catch from their discography, though, is that Lulu Mae are not a bunch of timid folk softies. Seriously, these guys can rock the fuck out. I couldn’t believe that the onslaught of sound coming from the stage on Saturday was from the group responsible for the breezy folk tunes I’d been listening to the week prior. On the live rendition of “Clean Up My Heart,” lead vocalist Joel Finley screams so hard that he almost seems determined to turn it into a Pantera song. And yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds. - No Country for New Nashville


Tomorrow, fellow bloggers at Cause a Scene are hosting a house show featuring Lulu Mae, The Local Strangers, and Jessee Lafser. If you had the chance to catch Lulu Mae last Saturday at Lightning 100's Music City Mayhem finals you already know that this will be a show well-worth the $6 price of admission, but in case you didn’t, let me try to convince you:

You can get a pretty good idea of who Lulu Mae are by poking around their website. They’re a disarmingly good-natured folk-rock family band with a knack for storytelling. During a quick listen through Lulu Mae’s first full-length record The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree (no, it’s not an Iron and Wine album), you might at different points be reminded of Nickel Creek, Ryan Adams, and The Decembrists, and occasionally, maybe even some Gaelic Storm. What you might not catch from their discography, though, is that Lulu Mae are not a bunch of timid folk softies. Seriously, these guys can rock the fuck out. I couldn’t believe that the onslaught of sound coming from the stage on Saturday was from the group responsible for the breezy folk tunes I’d been listening to the week prior. On the live rendition of “Clean Up My Heart,” lead vocalist Joel Finley screams so hard that he almost seems determined to turn it into a Pantera song. And yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds. - No Country for New Nashville


The annals of popular music are strewn with numerous family bands, from The Bee Gees and Van Halen to Kings of Leon and Cherryholmes. But two-family bands? Not so much. Yet Lulu Mae are exactly that: Joel Finley and his wife Sarah write and sing, while brothers Ben and Adam Smith and Adam's wife Jen provide support. Listening to their new album The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree, Iron and Wine immediately came to mind — a comparison we assume won’t bother Lulu Mae, since they cite Samuel Beam's musical alter ego as an inspiration. Most of the material fits under the folk/Americana umbrella, including the title track, a sunny ditty that floats over a buoyant train shuffle beat and might just renew your faith in the possibilities of love. But on “Clean Up My Heart,” they get in touch with their inner rockers, and sound a bit like The Features, albeit rootsier.
— Jack Silverman - The Nashville Scene


Discography

Everything in the Whole Wide World (2010 EP)
The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree (2012)
Single: Memphis Woman (2013)

Tracks with radio airplay:

Memphis Woman (2013)
The Fiction of Speed (2012)
The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree (2012)
Corallina (2012)
Asleep Behind the Wheel (2010)

Photos

Bio

From No Country for New Nashville:

[Lulu Mae is] a disarmingly good-natured folk-rock family band with a knack for storytelling. During a quick listen through Lulu Maes first full-length record The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree (no, its not an Iron and Wine album), you might at different points be reminded of Nickel Creek, Ryan Adams, and The Decemberists, and occasionally, maybe even some Gaelic Storm. What you might not catch from their discography, though, is that Lulu Mae are not a bunch of timid folk softies. Seriously, these guys can rock the f*** out.

Though they stay firmly rooted in the realm of folky, smart, well-orchestrated material, theyve certainly got the energy, versatility, and range to rock out, especially on a giant stage.

On May 13, 2014, the band will release its second full-length album, Mean River, which will prove to rock even harder and roll even sweeter than previous releases, as evidenced by the single release of Memphis Woman, playing now on local radio stations. Recent accomplishments for Lulu Mae include winning Nashvilles massive battle of the bands, Lightning 100s Music City Mayhem competition, in April 2013, and playing Nashvilles Live on the Green in September 2013 for a crowd of several thousand.

As for personnel:

Lulu Mae lends fresh meaning to the term family band: Lead singer Joel Finley writes and plays the tunes that he sings with his wife Sarah Finley, musically carried and decorated by their college buddies, the brothers Ben Smith (bass guitar) and Adam Smith (keys, trumpet), with background help from Adams wife Jen, and the recent additions of roommates and adopted brothers Anthony Mangin on electric and David Sutton on drums.

 And according to the Nashville Scene, Lulu Mae might just renew your faith in the possibilities of love.


Band Members