Daytrotter regularly features unconventional, stripped-down recording sessions by some of alternative music’s most popular artists. They recently released an eight-song session from British folk rockers Mumford & Sons, whose sophomore album, Babel, recently became the fastest selling record of 2012 in the U.K. and is on track to do the same in the U.S.
All of the songs were recorded by Daytrotter on Mumford & Sons’ tour bus at the Dixon, Ill., Gentlemen of the Road stop-overs this summer, excepting “Not With Haste,” which was recorded in the Dixon High School Auditorium.
“Not With Haste,” the final track on Babel, is also the only of the session’s songs that appears on either Babel or their 2009 debut, Sigh No More.
Click here to listen to the session (and sign up for Daytrotter), and check out the tracklist below. You can also check out an interview with Daytrotter’s own Sean Moeller about recording the session.
Mumord & Sons Daytrotter Session Tracklist
1. Not With Haste
2. Little Birdie
3. Angel Band
4. Not in Nottingham
6. I Was Young When I Left Home
7. Partner Nobody Chose
8. Atlantic City
Interview With Sean Moeller of Daytrotter
How did this session come about in a gymnasium in Dixon, Ill.?
Moeller: The session came about in a strangely organic and methodical way—out of persistence and friendship. A few years ago, we became friends with Ben Lovett and Kevin Jones. They started Communion Music long before all of the Mumford stuff really exploded like it has. We now work with [Communion’s] engineer and co-founder of Communion Ian Grimble to record Daytrotter sessions in London. Obviously, we’ve many a-time talked about wanting to do a Mumford session together. When the Dixon, Ill., Stopover show was announced, we tried to make that the day. Dixon is just a little over an hour from our homebase here in Rock Island, Ill., so we kept talking about that day, and four or five days before the Stopover show everything came together. We gathered up what we needed and set up there in the high school auditorium. It was a very intense setup as we were let into the space an hour later than we wanted, but everyone there in Dixon was so accommodating. It was a special, special session. The Mumford guys didn’t really want to leave. The acoustics that we were getting in there were phenomenal.
Who all did Mumford & Sons bring with them to play?
Moeller: Along on the tour that day were Dawes, Apache Relay, Abigail Washburn, HAIM, Nathaniel Rateliff, The Very Best and Gogol Bordello. On these recordings, Taylor Goldsmith, Nathaniel Rateliff, Abigail Washburn and the Mumford’s fiddle player Ross Holmes all played on these different arrangements. Marcus Mumford sang and performed on all the songs in the Mumford & Sons and Friends sessions. Throughout the week, we will be posting everything else that we recorded that day in Dixon—full sets from Gogol Bordello and The Very Best and stray songs from everyone else at that Stopover.
What made this such a special event to you?
Moeller: I think it was really just the atmosphere. The way these Stopover shows are set up is so amazing. They took over this tiny, sleepy-ass town and made it the most spectacular place in the world for two days. The feeling on this sunny and perfectly seasonally heated day was ideal. The sessions seemed to be done exactly the way that the Mumford guys tick. They live for music and musical kinship. The folks they brought with them on this tour were the same way. You got a sense that no one wanted any of it to end—ourselves included. It’s why Marcus and Taylor just kept rolling before we had to just force ourselves to shut it down—the night long past over.
Where does this rank among your favorite Daytrotter experiences?
Moeller: It certainly might be No. 1. It’s hard to deny how good of a day this was, spending it with a lot of brilliant musicians and friends.