Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange

Eli West

Tue · April 4, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$22 GA

This event is 21 and over

Mandolin Orange
Mandolin Orange
Lean in to Mandolin Orange’s new album, “Blindfaller,” and it’s
bound to happen. You’ll suddenly pick up on the power and
devastation lurking in its quietude, the doom hiding beneath its unvarnished beauty. You’ll hear the way it magnifies the intimacy at the heart of the North Carolina duo’s music, as if they created their own musical language as they recorded it.
Due Sept. 30 on Yep Roc Records, “Blindfaller” builds on the
acclaim of Mandolin Orange’s breakthrough debut on the label,
2013’s “This Side of Jordan,” and its follow-up, last year’s “Such
Jubilee.”Since then they’ve steadily picked up speed and fans
they’ve earned from long stretches on the road, including
appearances at Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Fest,
and Telluride Bluegrass. It’s been an auspicious journey for a pair who casually met at a bluegrass jam session in 2009.
“When we finished ‘Such Jubilee,’ I started writing these songs
with a different goal in mind. I thought about how I would write
songs for somebody else to record,” Marlin explains. “I ended up with a bunch of songs like that, but we chose ones that I still felt personally connected to.”
Holed up at the Rubber Room studio in Chapel Hill, N.C., with a
full band this time around, they laid down the tracks in a week
between touring. They’ve always been keen on the notion that
drawn-out recording sessions don’t necessarily yield better
results. A good song, and just one good take, will always shine
through any studio sorcery.
The passage of time, and the regret that often accompanies it,
courses through these songs. “When did all the good times turn
to hard lines on my face/ And lead me so far from my place right
by your side?” Marlin ruminates on “My Blinded Heart.”
In fact, there’s heartache by the numbers on “Blindfaller.” If you
didn’t know better, you’d swear “Picking Up Pieces” is a
tearjerker George Jones or Willie Nelson sang back in the early
1970s. It’s a Mandolin Orange original, of course, and also a
poignant reminder of the economy and grace with which Marlin
imbues his songs – say what’s important and scrap the rest.
A country dirge with soulful washes of pedal steel and mandolin, “Wildfire” details the the lingering, present-day devastation of slavery and the Civil War, with Marlin’s voice locking into close harmonies with Frantz on the chorus. “Take This Heart of Gold” opens with perhaps the best classic-country line you’ll hear all year: “Take this heart of gold and melt it down.” (Marlin admits it was inspired by a Tom Waits lyric he misheard.)
But there’s also room for detours. Straight out of a honky tonk,
“Hard Travelin’” lets the band shift into overdrive. A freewheeling
ode to life on the road, it had been kicking around for a while but
never fit on previous releases.
As for the album title, it’s meant to evoke a sense of wonder, of
contemplation. A “faller” is someone who fells trees, and in this
case that person is blind to his/her own actions and those of the
world. The spectral cover photo, by Scott McCormick, is open to
interpretation, too: Either those trees are engulfed in flames or
sunlight is pouring through them. It’s up to you.
“We wanted different vibes and different intuitions on these
tracks,” Marlin says, “and I feel like we really captured that.”
Eli West
Eli West
Eli West is a Seattle-based multi-instrumentalist. With an interest in angular phrasing and non-traditional improvisation within the historic precedents of bluegrass and old-time music, his guitar playing has been called both unique and strong. He has released a solo record in 2016 called The Both, including duets with Bill Frisell, Dori Freeman and John Reischman, and three records as half of the new/old-time duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. He also collaborates regularly with Ben Winship, Joe Walsh, and Norwegian fiddler Olav Mjelva, among others.
Venue Information:
O.P. Rockwell
268 Main Street
Park City, UT, 84060