Episode 82: Joy Kills Sorrow
Air date: 6.12.2013
Joy Kills Sorrow was formed in Boston's fertile folk scene in 2005. Their lineup is pretty standard for a string band - guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass and vocals, but they are anything but an old-time string band. They retain the virtuosic tendencies of their bluegrass forefathers, but they are pushing the boundaries of a style not known for its avant-garde aspects. Also akin to the progenitors of bluegrass, their tempos can also set barns on fire, but there is something decidedly modern about the way Joy Kills Sorrow arranges the original songs that fill their two albums. They share more in common with mandolin prodigy, Chris Thile's post-Nickel Creek ensemble, Punch Brothers than they do with Bill Monroe, but they are savvy enough musicians to know that they are standing on the shoulders of giants. Every member of the band is a standout on their respective instrument, and they already have an impressive number of awards to their credit. With the band stacked with so many badass players it would be hard for their music to sound any other way. Their brand new EP, Wide Awake, pushes their unplugged sound farther into some louder and amped up indie rock territory, further expanding their already diverse musical universe.