Megafaun + Fight the Big Bull feat. Justin Vernon & Sharon Van Etten
Sounds of the South

Megafaun, Fight the Big Bull, Justin Vernon, Sharon Van Etten

Sounds of the South


The members of Megafaun moved from Wisconsin to Raleigh with Justin Vernon as the band DeYarmond Edison. After Vernon went back north to record as Bon Iver, the Cook brothers and Joe Westerlund stayed on in the Piedmont, crafting a timeless folk-pop that “drinks deeply from the well of the past but could only have been made today” (Drowned in Sound) — an archive of rural America’s ghosts.

In this exclusive live recording event, the rustic avant-gardists teamed up with Fight the Big Bull, the “thrilling” (NPR) nine-piece jazz collective from Richmond, VA, along with Vernon and the blisteringly talented Sharon Van Etten.

Together in Durham for just three shows, they tracked a live album based on Alan Lomax’s collection of shape-note songs and dirt-floor hymns, Sounds of the South, gathered during a two-year trek through the American southeast (1959-1961).

Recast through Megafaun’s experimental Americana, FtBB’s brass jazz, Vernon’s “chilly, rusty grandeur” (Village Voice), and Van Etten’s haunting soprano, the folk songs Lomax immortalized lived again, from September 17-19, 2010, at Hayti Heritage Center, once an AME Zion church and now a semi-sacred venue whose acoustics rival any studio’s.

“What came out in the three live performances that culminated the days of rehearsal was an energy unmatched in all but a few events I have ever witnessed.”



Photos by Jeremy M. Lange


  • Duke Chronicle, Duke Performances reimagines Sounds of the South at Hayti
  • INDY Week, Sounds of the South
  • Pitchfork, Megafaun Recruit Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to Cover Old Folk/Blues Songs
  • Consequence of Sound, Megafaun collaborates with Justin Vernon, others on American music concert
  • Stereogum, Hear Indie Folk Supergroup Sounds Of The South Play “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations” From MusicNOW – 10 Years Comp
  • Folk Radio, Song of the Day: Sounds of the South