Jumping between genres is second nature to this unorthodox folk/pop quartet. Judah and the Lion was originally a Belmont-born band, prone to belting hopeful themes and energizing the crowd with boot-stomping folk melodies. It was not uncommon to see frontman, Judah Akers, leading the band in a choreographed jig to a banjo-beat rendition of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” during a live performance. Akers describes their live shows as more than a set of songs strung together. It’s an active experience: “We throw an absolute rage. And all the songs were made with that in mind. They’re fun, carefree, and youthful, and we live our lives that way too.”
Twisting conventions seems embedded in the band’s soul. Each tune is shocked with electricity, and every lyric, an anthem. “Take It All Back” is found on Judah and the Lion’s third full-length record, Folk Hop N’ Roll (2016), the most experimental, hip-hop infused effort by the band yet.
Though their sound is shifting, the same message resonates throughout their entire discography. Their heart is one of fun-loving madness and mess, beating on in genuine love for their listeners and for the craft of songwriting.
Returning to Nashville for Live on the Green, you can experience Judah and the Lion’s dance-worthy performance on the Main Stage, Sept. 3 at 8p.m.