Mandolin Orange Record Release Party
South Carolina Broadcasters, Big Fat Gap - Bluegrass Jam (after show)
300 East Main St.
Carrboro, NC, 27510
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
"Mandolin Orange carries an understanding of tradition and shape it into a thing of beauty. They craft simple songs that go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure. Using acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz allure with a heart-worn sensibility. Last year's Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stanger combines bluegrass, rock and country for lullabies that swoon." —Ashleigh Phillips, Independent Weekly
On Mandolin Orange’s third release, This Side Of Jordan, there’s a Lightnin’ Hopkins lyric, “If fate’s an old woodpecker then I’m an old chunk of wood.” “I love the imagery that creates,” Andrew Marlin, the duo’s lyricist says, “You just picture death as this woodpecker that lands on your shoulder and starts chipping away at you until there’s finally nothing left.” In 2011 around the release of Mandolin Orange’s acclaimed Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stranger, Marlin had a near fatal accident. “It was scary,” Emily Frantz, the other half of the North Carolinian duo says, “But ultimately it brought us together during a time when we needed a nudge in that direction.”
This Side Of Jordan is the story of that healing process, with tales of love and loss, told honest and bare. The opener, “House of Stone,” quietly fades in with the hush of Frantz’s fiddle then Marlin’s guitar joins her, blooming. This moment of beauty is a gentle easing into the record that’s drenched deep in the traditional music of Southern Appalachia. Since meeting at a local jam in Chapel Hill in 2009, Marlin and Franz have intertwined gospel, folk, and bluegrass but never so seamlessly as now.
Recorded at the Fideltorium in Kernersville, North Carolina with bassist Jeff Crawford and a backing band, This Side Of Jordan still maintains Mandolin Orange’s modest aesthetic with pure and calming sounds. It’s a fitting juxtaposition to Marlin’s undeniable lyricism. Religious faith and fable thread throughout the record with Biblical references used to “convey a different point,” Frantz says. “In the south especially, we hear the Bible construed in any and every way to justify people’s comforts and discomforts,” Marlin further explains, “and it’s so frustrating to watch those stories be used to limit people’s happiness.” This sentiment inspired “Hey Adam,” where Marlin and Frantz urge in unison during the chorus, “Our Father loves you all ways.”
But this is not strictly a lyrical record. The duo’s understanding of classic country, rock, and blues naturally appears. “Waltz About Whisky” swings like a honky tonk thanks to Nathan Golub’s bending pedal steel as Marlin and Frantz plead, “Won’t someone dance with me to a waltz about whisky and turn my sad songs to lullabies?” When Marlin’s busy guitar weaves “Black Widow,” Josh Oliver’s sparse piano chords frame the track until its eerie conclusion. And “Morphine Girl” lazily trudges to James Wallace’s drum while Ryan Gustafson conjures on electric guitar.
The closer, “Until The Last Light Fades,” was written before Marlin met Frantz. With just Marlin’s mandolin and Frantz’s guitar, it’s the most fragile track on the record. Although it’s always been one of the duo’s favorites to play, it didn’t feel right on either of their previous releases. “It was so rewarding to have held out and have it come full circle,” Frantz explains in choosing the track to end the record. And as Frantz sings, “Born to die, born to die, darling you’ll live no longer than your years,” it comes across like an old adage, something faintly familiar.
Marlin and Frantz have rambled through the dark and came out together on This Side Of Jordan more confident than ever. They’ve made simply structured songs with easy chords and humble harmonies. These are the hymns that Mandolin Orange was meant to offer.
Haste Make was recorded with bassist Jeff Crawford and drummer James Wallace in winter 2010/2011 at Arbor Ridge Studios West in Franklin, NC and at Arbor Ridge Studios in Chapel Hill, and was produced by Crawford and Mandolin Orange. Hard Hearted Stranger was recorded in summer 2011 at Rubber Room Studios in Chapel Hill and features Andrew and Emily alone, produced by Andrew Marlin.
Quiet Little Room was produced, recorded and engineered by the duo at Rubber Room Studios in Chapel Hill. Independent Weekly’s Rick Cornell states that “all across the record is the sound of voices and instruments in the dark, finding light.” Swampland.com’s James Calemine likens the album’s harmonies to those of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Muzzle of Bees notes that their “focus moves from the instrumentation to the melody and ethos of songs … a little bit grassy, a little bit country-folk, a little bit something else.”
Over the last few years, Mandolin Orange has shared bills with Rosanne Cash, Chatham County Line, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Abigail Washburn, and traveled as far as the UK to perform at festivals, including Ulster's 21st Annual Bluegrass Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots, and Hopscotch Music Festival.
South Carolina Broadcasters
The South Carolina Broadcasters are not just another group dipping into the deep pool of traditional music in hopes of being trendy. Nearly every facet of the group is subservient to the style of music they present. Hailing from Charleston, S.C., but with roots in the sacred Mt. Airy region, they are a three-piece group, comprising David Sheppard on guitar, Ivy Sheppard on fiddle and banjo and relative newcomer Sarah Osborne on banjo and guitar. They each provide vocals to create distinctive harmonies; in person, it sounds as if every member has just stepped from a dusty old 78 RPM platter, ready to sing again. With many similarities to the early Carter Family, the Broadcasters dig deep into traditional gospel numbers and old-time tunes that originated from the mountains of the Carolinas and Virginia.
We are lucky to have them: When searching out authentic old-time music, one generally has to travel to a fiddler’s convention. There are many in this area of the country—Hoppin’ John in nearby Silk Hope, Happy Valley in the western part of the state, the Galax gathering in Virginia, and many more. The mountain pickers leave their rural homes for a weekend, recreating the sound of their forefathers. What separates the South Carolina Broadcasters from these convocations is that they strive to keep it going by pushing it into the broader public. The Broadcasters tour constantly through the Southeast. And with each release, they become tighter, somehow closer to reaching the heart of the music they obviously love. The harmonies are crisp. The playing is tight. The music is raw and raucous, heartfelt and beautiful. They are the South Carolina Broadcasters, and they are what is great about old time music. —Dan Schram
Big Fat Gap - Bluegrass Jam (after show)
Big Fat Gap will host a Bluegrass jam in the Cat's Cradle back room immediately following the show!
Big Fat Gap is a back porch bluegrass band that has no plans to take Nashville by storm. Some of them even have day jobs. They just like to pick, they like each other, and it shows in their performances, which are known to be excellent for those who enjoy sweet three-part harmonies, smoking solos, and captivating stage dynamics. They are: Miles Andrews on lead vocals and bass, Jon Hill on mandolin and vocals, Chris Roszell on banjo, Bobby Britt and John Garris on fiddles, and Jamie Griggs on guitar.
Over the past few years, Big Fat Gap has welcomed the increasing support of many fans, musicians, friends, and family in North Carolina, Colorado, and all along the East Coast. They have enjoyed many guest musical appearances by friends including mandolin legend Tony Williamson; musical virtuoso Rex McGee; Chatham County Line and Kickin' Grass from Raleigh; and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Big Fat Gap has appeared in festivals such as Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival in New York, Roosterwalk and Elysian Fields in Virginia, and is a fixture at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. You can also find Big Fat Gap performing at venues throughout North Carolina: in Chapel Hill and Carrboro at the Cat's Cradle, the Cave, the Speakeasy @ Tyler's Taproom, the Carolina Inn's Fridays on the Front Porch; at the Bynum's General Store; in Raleigh at the Pour House; the Town Pump in Black Mountain; and every Tuesday night at the Armadillo Grill in Carrboro.
They got their name from one of the few remaining stands of old growth virgin forest in western North Carolina, located in the Big Fat Gap in Graham County near the Tennessee border.
$10.00 - $28.00
This hometown show will commemorate the release of This Side of Jordan, out via Yep Roc Records on August 20. Fans will have the option of purchasing a CD or LP version of the album at a discounted price when purchasing an advanced ticket; the physical copies of the new record will be available for pick-up at the Cat’s Cradle on the night of the show. In addition, the night will start out with a pre-concert jam session, hosted by Big Fat Gap and modeled after the Armadillo Bluegrass Jam in Carrboro where Andrew and Emily first met. Ticket holders are invited to come out early and enjoy casual music, beer and free catering (until 8pm and/or while supplies last). The jam will take place from 6:30-8ish and is open to the public; doors will open at 6:30 pm. Enter through the main venue entrance to go to the jam, which will be out back behind the club. This event is being brought to you locally by Carrboro Coffee Roasters and Fifth Season Gardening Company.
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