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Posts Tagged ‘guitars’

Mandolin Orange
w/ Maggie & Her Mistakes
Saturday, April 30, 2011
The Emerald Lounge

$5, doors 9pm, show 10pm
(828) 232-4372
112 North Lexington Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
emeraldlounge.com

***

Mandolin Orange is a Chapel Hill, NC-based duo led by songwriter Andrew Marlin and instrumentalist Emily Frantz, who ornament lyric- and harmony-focused tunes with acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle and mandolin. The duo’s understated instrumentation draws on bluegrass and rock-and-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, and were recently recognized by Rosanne Cash to be “very exciting young people making great music”. Since releasing their debut full length ‘Quiet Little Room’ in May 2010, the duo has shared bills with Chatham County Line, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Abigail Washburn, and has performed at notable festivals such as Shakori Hills Grassroots, Beaufort Music Festival, and Albino Skunk Festival (SC).

Mandolin Orange is currently touring throughout the southeast in advance of their second full-length release, and working on its finishing touches in the meantime. On some tour dates the duo is joined by their recently added rhythm section, made up of Jeff Crawford on bass (formerly of Roman Candle, SpencerAcuff) and James Wallace on drums and organ (formerly of Max Indian, The Old Ceremony). The majority of the forthcoming album was recorded in a cabin in Franklin, NC with Jeff and James in December 2010, while the rest was completed at Crawford’s Arbor Ridge Studios in Chapel Hill. The album is not yet named, and is set to release in early fall of 2011.

The duo’s first album ‘Quiet Little Room’ released in May 2010 and was self-produced, recorded and engineered by Marlin and Frantz at Rubber Room Studios in Chapel Hill. The intimate and sparse style of the tracks met critical acclaim in several reviews. Independent Weekly’s Rick Cornell states that “all across the record is the sound of voices and instruments in the dark, finding light.” In a review for swampland.com, James Clementine confidently likens the album’s harmonies to those of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Muzzle of Bees noted 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.” Both North Carolina natives, Marlin’s rural upbringing and Frantz’s roots in bluegrass fiddle and harmony serve as the basis for the duo’s more explorative style. Quiet Little Room reflects the influence of traditional music on their original material, which edges into southern gothic with poignant, sometimes foreboding lyrics centered on themes of the natural world.

Mandolin Orange’s current work retains the intimacy, open space and focus established in their first album, but explores new musical territories through both Marlin’s songwriting and the addition of a full rhythm section. The band’s evolving sound reflects the eclectic musical environment of Chapel Hill, and their engaging performances are packing houses throughout North Carolina and beyond. With festivals booked for summer and Fall 2011 and an appetite for expansive touring, the second album release is sure to take this lyrical Americana act into new territory.

Find out more at mandolinorange.com, facebook.com/mandolinorange and twitter.com/mandolinorange


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Acoustic Syndicate


The Lincoln Theater ~ Raleigh, NC
Friday, November 26th, 2010
 

&

The Orange Peel ~ Asheville, NC
Saturday, November 27th, 2010


Acoustic Syndicate is:
Steve McMurry: Acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals.
Bryon McMurry: Banjos, electric guitar, vocals.
Fitz McMurry: Drums, vocals.
Jay Sanders: Acoustic upright bass, electric bass.
Billy Cardine: Acoustic and electric dobros.
………………………….
Acoustic Syndicate was born in December, 1977 when Joe and Fitzhugh McMurry, a couple of brothers from Cleveland County, NC got together and decided to get their kids bluegrass instruments for Christmas that year. The kids were brothers Fitz Jr. and Bryon McMurry, and their cousin Steve McMurry. Fitzie, as he was known back then, got a Gibson Hummingbird guitar. Bryon got an Eagle banjo and Steve got a fiddle from Sears & Roebuck. All were excited and happy. The trio was nicknamed the “The Maple Creek Three” by Fitzhugh Sr. They learned a few songs, mostly church songs from the Methodist hymnal, and threw in a couple of country and bluegrass numbers and before long they were playing whenever they could…mostly serving at the pleasure of the parents at family gatherings and church functions. Joe and Fitzhugh, taking great delight in the results of their scheme, had unwittingly laid the foundation of what was to become Acoustic Syndicate. The boys spent the remainder of their childhood and adolescence singing, playing, living and working together on the family farm in Cleveland County.

After high school the trio drifted on separate paths for a while…moving off to college, taking jobs, getting married and so on. But the boys would always make time to get together and go see some good, live music…anything from bluegrass to punk rock. One could find them at a reggae festival on Lake Norman as easily as you could see them at the Milestone in Charlotte to see the Bad Brains, or in DC at a Grateful Dead show. In 1992 the three landed back in Cleveland County, quite by coincidence, and started playing again. In 1993 the trio added Doug Rogers to the group on upright bass. The band played their first gig as The Mint Jubilee Blues at the suggestion of a friend. After some debate on the topic, the band decided on “Acoustic Syndicate” over dinner at the old El Cancun Mexican restaurant in Shelby, NC in October of that year. Bryon actually came up with the name.

Photo by Bright Life Photography

The Band started out pretty much as any other, playing at parties, bars and alike. In 1994 the band caught the attention of Steve Metcalf of the world famous Green Acres Music Hall, in Bostic, NC. He featured them at “The Acres” on a couple of big bills like David Grisman and Bela Fleck. In 1997, the Syndicate added Nashville bassist, Jay Sanders, formerly of the Snake Oil Medicine Show to their line up to complete the Syndicate core. The rest is a matter of record. From there, with the help and connections of Steve Metcalf and the booking of Hugh Southard at Blue Mountain Artists, the band went on to tour the country extensively for the next eight years, completing six recording projects, two of them for Sugar Hill Records.

In 2001 they added long time friend and collaborator, Jeremy Saunders on saxophones. With their distinct brand of folk rock, bluegrass and reggae, coupled with their romper room, ultra high-energy, live performances they went on to be regulars at the biggest music festivals in the country, playing Bonnaroo, Farm Aid, High Sierra Music Festival, Telluride Music Festival, Merle Fest, Magnolia Fest and many more. The band played most of the A list rooms in the country and continued to tour and record until 2005.

The collapse of the record industry along with growing family needs at home forced the band to either commit to a long term tour schedule, or stop playing. The band decided to call it quits at Smilefest in May of 2005. The decision to disband would not stand. After only a two year break, the people called for the music to continue, and at the frequent and steadfast urging of Blue Mountain Artists, the Syndicate decided to play again.
From the very beginning the band resolved to play honest, good music with emphasis on musicianship and vocal harmonies. The mission was to provide good music to the masses as an alternative to the cookie cutter, self-centered industry standards of the day. Their body of original material always conveyed a positive message of coexistence, peace, conservation, sustainability and happiness. They opted to leave the sappy love songs to those who take no exception to wasting the precious time and minds of the body politic.

Acoustic Syndicate plays on with its message of peace, earth, unity and family. The Syndicate will enter the studio this winter to begin work on their 7th recording. They can be found out and about in the South East touring with their new music and their newest addition to the group, dobro player Billy Cardine.

Biography: Lyle Cordova.

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