How an old Slavic prison ballad inspired Lemon Bucket Orkestra's new album

Lemon Bucket Orkestra's Mark Marczyk discusses the inspiration behind his band's latest album, If I had the Strength, and the important changes they've made over the years in the way they present their Eastern European-style music.
(Melody Lau/CBC)

If you asked Toronto's Lemon Bucket Orkestra to describe themselves, chances are they'd say they're a Balkan-klezmer-Gypsy-party-punk-superband. As interesting as that cultural mash-up might sound, fans of the group will tell you that you simply need to see the band live to truly understand them.

For almost a decade, the sometimes 12, sometimes more than 12-member collective have been winning audiences over with their lively, super-interactive performances and theatrical stage shows. And at the heart of it all is the band's love of traditional Eastern European music and culture.

If I had the Strength (out tomorrow) is Lemon Bucket Orkestra's follow-up to their Juno Award-nominated album, Moorka, and once again the band draws on those Eastern European traditions, but the bandmembers also have some very personal and timely political connections to that part of the world. Their album is out this Friday and they'll be performing this Saturday at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. 

— Produced by Ty Callender


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