From Toronto to New York, Budapest to Berlin – and at last summer’s TD Sunfest, too, where they won the 2014 Galaxie Rising Stars Award – audiences around the world are hailing the Lemon Bucket Orkestra as folk music revolutionaries. Since their birth four years ago, the self-described “Balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super band” has grown from an initial quartet of buskers to a 15-piece guerilla folk force with an array of grass roots followers and mainstream fans at home and abroad. Those discovering the band for the first time quickly realize that its shows are more than concerts. They’re wild, joyful experiences, rarely contained by four walls. They’re celebrations of tradition and culture expressed with an explosive punk spirit. And they’re ecstatic street parades that erupt from the collision of nostalgia and imagination.
Revered music critic Alan Cross writes that the Lemon Bucket Orkestra is “like a traveling musical caravan burning brightly across the night sky”. CBC Music says, “Music to shake you by the scruff, in the best possible way”.
Nominated for four Canadian Folk Music Awards and a 2014 JUNO, the band’s debut album, “Lume, Lume,” features thirteen gritty, high-energy arrangements (and one secret track) of folk songs from across Eastern Europe. “These traditional songs have been played for generations in various arrangements…they’ve traveled with musicians to different lands and have mutated and adapted constantly,” says LBO ringleader Mark Marczyk. “But there is a common thread—they tell stories and carry emotions that bring people together and that’s something that the urban landscape really needs.”
The LBO have toured Europe twice and shared stages with folk magnates Marko Markovic, Shantel and the Bucovina Club Orkestra, Taraf de Hadoucks, and Fanfare Ciocarlia (headliners at TD Sunfest ’13). Several summers ago, the group enjoyed worldwide media attention from the likes of CNN and the New York Times and garnered more than 250,000 YouTube hits after playing an impromptu concert on a delayed Air Canada flight en route to a three week tour of Romania.