Sons of Joy arrived with a couple of out-of-tune violins and a manifesto to reclaim folk music for joy. They played music to feed the spirit, music with the immediacy of an Alan Lomax field recording and the earnest intensity of the pre-war gospel pioneers. They created records of extremes, from delicate 9th century plainchant to raw gospel foot-stompers saturated by feedback, the microphone overloaded by the bestial holler of Matt Simpkins, as he channelled righteous fury like some jackleg street preacher from the 1930s. Matt has retired from music to study to become an Anglican priest. Daniel Merrill continues perform as a solo artist and with Dead Rat Orchestra.
“It is indeed folk music. But it’s screeching, sawing, tortured folk music of the best kind. Of the kind, in fact, that would happily tear the still-beating heart from the shattered ribcage of the jelly-spined folk pop which sullies the name these days, and eat it in front of its grieving family. Awesome.” – Song by Toad blog