The Last Bison
Listen to Switzerland
The Last Bison is anything but typical. The seven-member ensemble led by Ben Hardesty has seemingly risen from the marshes of southeastern Virginia to captivate the national music scene with a rare blend of folk that is poetically steeped in classical influences. Band members describe the sound as “mountain-top chamber.” Already the band has drawn flattering though imperfect comparisons to indie rock superstars the likes of Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes. Flattering because each of those bands has carried folk rock into the main- stream; imperfect because none of them have a front man that shares the stage with his father and sister, nor uses a 75-year-old chaplain’s pump organ and Bolivian goat toenails on stage. The Last Bison is a tight knit community of family and friends that boasts a sound all its own.
The Last Bison’s live shows transport audiences from urban music halls to another, less familiar, era. Rich melodies accent unabashedly spiritual lyrics. Traditional folk instruments resonate with unexpected arrangements–sharing the musical space with lush family harmonies, classical strings, and earthy percussion. Band members appear to have stepped out of an 18th century stagecoach. The look hints at the band’s roots in colonial Virginia, while the sound transcends a defining era.