Another great afternoon at our house with lovely music reverberating over the hardwoods. Many thanks to our friend Jimmy and the very talented members of Mandolin Orange. The strange thing is that due to a clerical oversight this is actually Episode 172, but let’s not tell anyone. Shhh.
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
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.