Five Things (Give or Take) About … Mandolin Orange
1. Mandolin Orange, an up-and-coming acoustic folk duo, is from Chapel Hill. Their Twitter feed reveals they're diehard UNC fans, but Duke fans should not be dissuaded from listening.
2. They opened for Rosanne Cash when she was in Charlotte in December 2011. I was in the sold-out crowd that night at McGlohon Theater and felt like I did the first time I saw Brandi Carlile (when she opened for Vienna Teng at the Neighborhood Theatre). I felt I was witnessing greatness on stage and that Brandi, like Mandolin Orange, wouldn't be an opening act for long. It was evident that night in December that Cash was a fan. She said of their second album, Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger, "Love it … It has the plainspoken, mournful power of bluegrass and the elegance and intricacy of American classical, like Copland or Barber. Fantastic record."
3. The Daily Tar Heel reviewed their double album — the one Rosanne Cash loves — and had this to say: "This isn’t quite your grandfather’s back porch music, but he wouldn’t turn up his nose. There’s a graceful, effortless merger between past and present, tradition and progress. It’s music that just is — a series of heartbreaks and tall tales that don’t try too hard, and that’s a quality any true blue Carolinian can respect."
4. Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz play acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle, and — as their name implies — mandolin.
5. The Mandolin Orange song I can't get enough of is "Darling Girl," a beautiful hymn to the circle of life and, specifically, three generations of females in Marlin's family. "I'm waitin' on a ghost/To show her loving arms/Sweet Marie, I can see/Your faint light shining down on me."
6. They're playing The Evening Muse March 16 at 8 p.m.