Photo by D.L. Anderson
Eli’s BBQ, 3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH, 6:30pm
Drawing inspiration up through layers of North Carolina soil, maverick stringband Mipso embrace the present day while continuing to explore their local legacies on their new album Old Time Reverie, to be released via Robust Records on September 4, 2015. Spawned from the ongoing renaissance currently enriching and expanding the traditional vocabularies of old time and bluegrass music, Mipso put time-honored tools to work on new terrain, with evocative, intoxicating with evocative, intoxicating results. Years of constant touring has tightened their attack, lending a new degree of authority and cohesion to their sound, while the addition of fiddler and vocalist Libby Rodenbough to the existing lineup of Jacob Sharp (mandolin), Joseph Terrell (guitar), and Wood Robinson (bass), has added new colors to an already rich palette.
When Mipso’s 2013 debut, Dark Holler Pop, rose to #8 on Billboard’s Bluegrass charts, the success surprised a lot of people – including the band themselves. “Well, we didn’t think so many people would embrace it,” laughs mandolin player Jacob Sharp, “and we definitely didn’t know we were a bluegrass band.” Two years on,”Old Time Reverie – produced by Mandolin Orange’s Andrew Marlin – reflects the quartet’s continued musical and personal growth with their gripping and mature sophomore release. Its songs encompass and attempt to reconcile the contradictions of growing up in an evolving South, artfully careening from desperation to hope over the course of eleven atmospheric, engrossing original songs.
The songs of Old Time Reverie paint morally nuanced portraits of Mipso’s complex and evolving native landscape. “By being on the road 200 days a year,” guitarist Joseph Terrell explains, “we’ve come to understand how we fit into this idea of the new South – not the south of old stereotypes, but a really intriguing, nuanced place that’s educated and progressive, while also embracing its traditions”
“Being young, progressive artists living in the middle of North Carolina is inherently complicated,” adds Libby Rodenbough, “because we’re trying to position ourselves within our family, state, regional histories – while being true to all the understanding of the world we’ve gained over the past year. This album contains a lot of songs that deal with moral ambiguity and the struggles that come with forging an identity – which has a lot to do with the fact that we’re from and continue to live in North Carolina.”
Others – listeners, artists, fellow travellers – have taken note of the young band Others – listeners, artists, fellow travellers – have taken note of the young band’s sincerity and success. “Mipso has toured many a mile,” wrote Tony Award-winning author, composer, and musician Bland Simpson, “and whether one calls their music ‘renegade traditional’ or ‘dark holler pop,’ it scarcely matters. Theirs is the deeply soulful sound of North Carolina at its striving, yearning best, their straight-from-the-heart songs delivered with high artistry and powerhouse precision in every voice, every note.”
The release of Old Time Reverie will be supported by extensive national touring. For the most up-to-date tour dates, visit www.mipsomusic.com.