Out in support of their sixth and, perhaps, best LP to date, Tides of a Teardrop, beloved North Carolina folk/Americana duo Mandolin Orange are set to return to The Ryman Auditorium this weekend for not one, but two headlining dates, Sept. 6 & 7. Joining the band on night one is a new supergroup with an unbelievable pedigree, Bonny Light Horseman, made up of Fruit Bats’ frontman Eric D. Johnson, singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell, and guitarist Josh Kaufman, and a handful of tickets for both performances are still available here (9/6) and here (9/7) as of writing! We’d suggest snagging your spot now as they’re going fast, then read on for more about the show.
Formed a decade ago in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, folk/Americana breakouts Mandolin Orange were largely a strict duo of Andrew Marlin (vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo) and Emily Frantz (vocals, violin, guitar) in their early days, forging a well-received blend of bluegrass, gospel, folk, country, and pop, finding a timeless balance between classic folk and Americana figures, and more contemporary fixtures, and earning widespread critical acclaim, commercial accomplishments, and an ever-growing and esteemed fanbase along the way. After a few self-related early efforts and some grassroots buzz, the band inked a deal with Yep Roc Records ahead of their breakout 2013 third LP This Side of Jordon, which began to move towards a more filled-out, full-band sound. By 2016 fifth album Blindfaller, Mandolin Orange had incorporated a formal roster of backing player, who’ve also become their live band, honing an accessible Americana style that has propelled them to tour dates across the globe, and appearances at fests like Austin City Limits, South by Southwest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Pickathon, MerleFest, and more! With this year’s latest, Tides of a Teardrop, the duo have crafted their most personal, honed, dynamic, richest, and most fully realized work to date, pushing their sound to new sonic heights and their songwriting to new substantive and dense places. Long renowned for their live show, we can’t think of a better spot in Nashville to see Mandolin Orange live than the Mother Church!
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN
Made up of Fruit Bats’ frontman Eric D. Johnson, singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell, and guitarist Josh Kaufman, brand new supergroup Bonny Light Horseman have been tapped to support for night one (Sept. 6, currently the opener for Sept. 7, or whether it might be BLH for both, is not clear), and are so brand new, only a single track and little in the way of detailed information has made it online just yet. They seem to have made their live debut last year at Eaux Claires, and sprung to life with social media earlier this year, in preparation of appearances at Pickathon and Newport Folk Festival, as well as a handful of club dates, before landing at The Ryman with Mandolin Orange. Given their insane pedigree (Kaufman has produced acts like The National and The Hold Steady, and performed and written with The War On Drugs and Hiss Golden Messenger, Johnson’s Fruit Bats are an indie darling, and Mitchell’s Hadestown is the first ever broadway musical written by a woman to win a Tony Award), we have no doubt their take on folk is going to be nothing short of magical. Show up early!
Mandolin Orange will perform Friday, Sept. 6 with Bonny Light Horseman and Saturday, Sept. 7 with special guests to be announced at The Ryman Auditorium. The shows are all ages, begin at 8 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $30-35 here (9/6) and here (9/7).