Compared to “a traveling musical caravan burning brightly across the night sky” (music critic Alan Cross), Lemon Bucket Orkestra is Canada’s only balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super-band. Born on the streets of Toronto as a busking band in 2010, the original quartet of guerrilla-folk troubadours quickly amassed a battalion of troops armed with brass and bows and started touring the world. LBO has won several awards (crowned a Galaxie Rising Star at TD Sunfest ‘14 and “Best Band in Toronto” in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Best of Toronto issue), been heralded as ground-breaking by the international media, and shared stages with folk magnates Marko Markovic, Shantel and the Bucovina Club Orkestra, Taraf de Hadoucks, and Fanfare Ciocarlia (headliners at TD Sunfest ‘13 & ‘16); however, its greatest achievement is the ability to embody the dynamic space between “home” and “exotic” and to welcome audiences into the celebration of that space. LBO’s members have even gone as far as the eastern front of the war in Ukraine, using their music as catharsis, support, and even a platform for storytelling and information sharing in a political arena obfuscated by propaganda and misinformation.
The band’s latest album, Moorka (2015), includes re-worked folk songs that the band learned from local virtuosos in Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Macedonia, each tune spiked with a unique blend of funk, punk, psychedelia, blues and swing to give it that now infamous LBO momentum. Moorka was nominated for a 2016 JUNO Award, and picked up a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best World Music Album.