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12:01 AM Friday, 11/2/12 |   |

The Lumineers’ song “Ho Hey” has been building all summer, gaining radio play and closing in on 20 million YouTube views. It’s raising the profile of the Americana trio, which had a far less public profile as early as March. Songwriter Wesley Schultz recalled to Pollstar the special treatment they got at South by Southwest.   

“We did seven shows,” Schultz said. “We tried to see Delta Spirit. We waited for an hour and they wouldn’t let us in because we didn’t have the right online RSVP. And we were playing the festival. It was really bizarre, but they just turned us away.”

Schultz grew up in the New York City suburb of Ramsey, N.J.  His best friend, Josh Fraites, overdosed at the age of 19, but Schultz started making music with Josh’s younger brother, Jeremiah. The two eventually moved to Denver, recruited cellist Neyla Pekarek, and began playing the basement club Meadowlark.  The Lumineers were self-booking as late as last year.

“We were approached by management about March 2011, a management group out of Seattle called Onto,” Schultz said. “They acted as our booking agent in the beginning on a smaller level. Then they got people like representatives from Paradigm out to shows. … Paradigm is pretty large so we got a very capable and hungry booking agent. It’s kind of like our whole team; it fits right in with the whole mentality.”

Now, the shows are growing exponentially.

“We’re pretty thrilled about playing to more people. Especially when you outnumber the patrons in the bar.”

On the road, the trio is actually a quintet with the addition of Ben Wahamaki and Stelth Ulvang.


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