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Mandolin Orange breaks new musical ground

October 11th, 2011 3:28 am by staff report

Mandolin Orange breaks new musical ground

Fans can get a preview of Mandolin Orange's new double album, "Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger," during the duo's CD release show Thursday at the Down Home.


   Since releasing their debut full-length album “Quiet Little Room” in May 2010, songwriter Andrew Marlin and instrumentalist Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange have shared bills with such noted acts as Chatham County Line, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Abigail Washburn, and taken the stage at festivals ranging from Shakori Hills Grassroots to the Beaufort Music Festival to the Albino Skunk Festival.

   Now, the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based duo is crisscrossing the Southeast in support of their sophomore release, a double album titled “Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger.”

   The tour will bring Mandolin Orange to Johnson City on Oct. 13 for an 8 p.m. CD release show at the Down Home. Opening act is The Barefoot Movement. Tickets are $10 at the door.

   “Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger” won’t officially be released until Nov. 15, but in the meantime, fans can pick up a copy at any of Mandolin Orange’s live shows, including the one at the Down Home.

   Marlin and Frantz ornament their lyricand harmony-focused tunes with acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle and mandolin.

   The duo’s understated instrumentation draws on bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll alike, keeping Marlin’s dark lyrical themes at the forefront of their folk-country sound. Together, they deliver a sound that’s uniquely their own yet satisfyingly familiar, recently called an “unmitigated pleasure” by Rosanne Cash, who acknowledged the duo as “very exciting young people making great music.” On select tour dates the duo is joined by their recently added rhythm section — Jeff Crawford (formerly of Roman Candle, SpencerAcuff) on bass and James Wallace (formerly of Max Indian, The Old Ceremony) on drums and organ.

   “Haste Make” was recorded with Crawford and Wallace last winter at Arbor Ridge Studios West in Franklin, N.C., and at Arbor Ridge Studios in Chapel Hill, and was produced by Crawford and Mandolin Orange. “Hard-Hearted Stranger” was recorded this summer at Rubber Room Studios in Chapel Hill and features Marlin and Frantz alone. Marlin also produced the album.

   Mandolin Orange’s first album, “Quiet Little Room,” was self-produced, recorded and engineered by Marlin and Frantz at Rubber Room Studios. The intimate and sparse style of the tracks met critical acclaim in several reviews.

   “Quiet Little Room” reflects the influence of traditional music on Mandolin Orange’s original material, which edges into Southern gothic with its poignant, sometimes foreboding lyrics centered on themes of the natural world.

   Mandolin Orange’s current work retains the intimacy, open space and focus established on their first album, but explores new musical territories through both Marlin’s songwriting and the addition of a full rhythm section.

   For more information about their show at the Down Home, call (423) 929-9822 or visit www.downhome.com  . To find out more about Mandolin Orange, check out their website at www.mandolinorange.com   or find them on Facebook.
Courtesy of Mandolin Orange





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