Ever wondered where the funny, punny name Mandolin Orange — one of today’s premiere American roots bands — has its origins?
“We were driving back from our first gig opening for Kickin Grass, a band from Raleigh, and we thought what a cool name and that we needed a name,” remembers Emily Frantz (violin/guitar/vocals), who makes up half of this uber talented duo who still call Chapel Hill, North Carolina, home.
“Andrew Marlin (mandolin/guitar/vocals), who loves puns and word play, had this little round and orange mandolin at the time, said half-joking how about Mandolin Orange? And it stuck.”
Rooster Walk 9 Music and Arts Festival, set for May 25-28 near Martinsville, Virginia, is a week away, the weather forecast is offering blue skies and temps in the 70s and I’d like to suggest you forego that annual Memorial Day trip to the beach with the masses. Instead head to the verdant foothills of southwest Virginia to relax and take advantage of some amazing musical and outdoor offerings. Continue reading
MerleFest, one of the top Americana roots festivals, is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music and four days of making memories, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles known as “traditional plus.” The festival, presented by Window World, is celebrating its 30th anniversary April 27-30, 2017, at in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Founded in 1988 by the late, great Doc Watson in memory of his son Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College. Tickets are available here.
The ninth iteration of Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival will be held over Memorial Day weekend, May 25 – 28, 2017, at the idyllic Pop’s Farm, overlooking a lake in the countryside of Martinsville, Virginia. Rooster Walk was named one of the Top 5 Music Festivals in Virginia by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 2016 and it’s one of my personal favorites.
Listen up: Fans of the former Americana trio Red June will be happy to hear Zoe & Cloyd, the Appalachian roots husband and wife duo that made up two-thirds of that group, have a second full-length album, “Eyes Brand New,” coming out April 7.
I have had the opportunity to hear Zoe & Cloyd perform at MerleFest as well as at SECCA in as part of “MerleFest on the Road.” I was particularly impressed by the fiddle stylings of Weinstein and the guitar and banjo talents of Miller as well as their gorgeous harmonies. Their traditional approach to their music take you back to an earlier era. If you like Mandolin Orange, you’ll like Zoe & Cloyd.
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller — who have been making music together in various arrangements since first meeting in 2005 — recorded the new album at Sound Temple Studios with fellow musician and engineer Chris Rosser.
The CD Release Show will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at The Grey Eagle in Asheville. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. A schedule of the duo’s March and April dates preceding the release show follow.