Mandolin Orange Draw On Deep American Traditions To Tell 21st Century Stories On ‘This Side Of Jordan’ Out August 6 On Yep Roc


Mandolin Orange is Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, a duo that makes hushed, intricate, timeless music from the North Carolina Triangle region, drawing on deep American musical traditions to tell moving 21st century stories. They will make their Yep Roc debut on August 6 with ‘This Side of Jordan,’ recorded at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium.

Lead-off track “House of Stone” sets the tone for the album, an intimate still life of a rural church yard auction. Says Andrew, “Growing up in the south, hymns were a common part of my childhood. My mother played piano for the church and so did her mother before that. Many of those old tunes refer to a mansion of gold that awaits all believers in heaven. This song is meant to be some kind of modern hymn that uses some of the same terminology to convey a contrary idea. To me, a mansion of gold seems too much like an infomercial for the afterlife.”

While some songs address age-old themes like religion, economic struggle and the lure of the nightlife, others draw inspiration from more contemporary sources ranging from gay marriage to prescription painkillers to the Lord of the Rings.

All 11 songs were written by Marlin, who plays guitar, mandolin, bass, organ and sings – his voice deep and raw, harboring a subtle intensity. Emily Frantz’s fiddle casts an indelible mark, whether it’s the opening melody on “There Was A Time” or the single note textures that close “Black Widow.” She plays acoustic guitar and sings, too, pure and crystal clear.

Listen to “House Of Stone”:

Watch them perform another album track “The Doorman”:

Mandolin Orange have toured with Kathleen Edwards, Abigail Washburn, and Rosanne Cash, who says of their music, “Love it – it has the plainspoken, mournful power of bluegrass and the elegance and intricacy of American classical, like Copland or Barber.”

Mandolin Orange Tour Dates
May 16 – Duckpond at Dusk – Brevard, NC
May 17 – Lowe Mill Concerts on the Dock – Huntsville, AL
May 18 – Straight to Ale – Huntsville, AL
May 25 – Rooster Walk Festival – Martinsville, VA
May 26 – White Squirrel Festival – Brevard, NC
May 30 – Cowboy Monkey – Champaign, IL
June 1 – Willie’s Locally Known – Lexington, KY
June 8 – Loco’s Pub & Grill – St. Simon’s Island, GA
June 9 – Spoleto Festival Finale – Charleston, SC
June 12 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
June 13 – Lizard Lounge – Boston, MA
June 20 – Thursdays on First – Rochester, MN
June 22 – The Hamilton – Washington, DC*
July 10 – Music City Roots – Nashville, TN
September 21/22 – Freshgrass @ Mass MoCA – North Adams, MA