At the heart of the Danish band Jonah Blacksmith are two brothers equipped with guitar and banjo. Together they’ve conjured up a special kind of alternative folk music that’s been molded in a hidden-away, northwestern corner of Denmark, where the North Sea meets weathered forests and rough moorland vistas. Its roots echo a past when the two brothers hung out in their grandfather’s blacksmith shop and discovered a whole musical heritage through his banjo playing.
Simon and Thomas Alstrup teamed up with four other excellent musicians in 2011, and together they play as Jonah Blacksmith (aptly named after the sibling’s grandfather). Their soundscape combines melodic, intimate vocals embellished with lap steel guitar, mandolin and no less than two drum kits. In their own words, it’s music written to be played sitting down in a circle – up-close and personal.
Jonah Blacksmith takes Scandinavian folk traditions, fuses them with Americana and turns it into something new: intimate music with a wide and dynamic range that stretches from conversation-like passages to bombastic orchestral parts with a wall of sound and energy.