On Tuesday May 28th, Mandolin Orange played a special set at the North Carolina Executive Mansion in Raleigh to help usher in a partnership between Come Hear North Carolina and the Americana Music Association (AMA). Governor Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper hosted musicians, AMA members, and press to celebrate all that North Carolina has given to the world of music, and Mandolin Orange provided the perfect soundtrack to the occasion.
The duo – comprised of Chapel Hill’s Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz – treated the crowd to an intimate set, showcasing their range as both songwriters and musicians. The set concluded with a special version of fan-favorite “Wildfire,” with a surprise appearance from John Teer of Chatham County Line on fiddle. The song tells a brief history of America’s sordid past, begging an answer to why racism still prevails despite the bloody Civil War fought to end it, and how bigotry can spread like wildfire if left un-checked.
During the proclamation of the partnership, Americana Music Association’s Executive Director Jed Hilly remarked, “If everyone in the world listened to one hour of Americana music, we’d have world peace.” After that evening’s rendition of “Wildfire,” it would be hard to argue in the contrary. Hear for yourself below.
Yesterday Come Hear North Carolina and the Americana Music Association announced that music showcases at the 20th annual AMERICANAFEST® will highlight North Carolina musicians. Multiple showcases are scheduled Sept. 10 to 15 in Nashville, allowing audiences to experience what North Carolina sounds like. Come Hear North Carolina's presence at AMERICANAFEST will build awareness about the state’s influence on American music.
The Americana Music Association® has over 3,000 members from around the world and the organization has strong ties to North Carolina’s music heritage that includes many sounds in the Americana umbrella from folk, country, bluegrass and more. Musicians in this genre include Emmylou Harris, The Avett Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, Carolina Chocolate Drops & Rhiannon Giddens, Tift Merritt, Dom Flemons and Mandolin Orange, who performed during the event.
North Carolina has an important place in the Americana genre, including being the home state of forefathers like Del McCoury, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, as well as 2019 Artist of The Year nominee Rhiannon Giddens, explained Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association.
Hilly also announced that AMERICANAFEST will feature a regional spotlight on North Carolina via panels on the state's musical history and showcases focused on the state's artists.
North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper hosted Chapel Hill's Mandolin Orange for the latest in a series of Music at the Mansion events taking place this year, speaking on the beauty and power that music has in reflecting the state's own diversity and creativity.
Following First Lady Kristin Cooper’s remarks, Governor Roy Cooper made a surprise appearance at the event to applaud his wife for her deep appreciation and love of music and the arts.He then spoke about the importance of music education in the lives of North Carolina’s children, while also discussing the role of arts and culture in helping the state’s overall growth-especially in regards to business and industry recruitment.
Mandolin Orange performed songs including “Golden Embers,” “The Wolves” and “Mother Deer” from their new album Tides of A Teardrop, which debuted at #1 on four Billboard charts - Heatseekers, Folk/Americana, Current Country Albums and Bluegrass – after its February release on Hillsborough, N.C.-based Yep Roc Records. They also brought out another surprise guest, fellow North Carolina musician John Teer of Chatham County Line, for their final song “Wildfire.”
The Harris Brothers are fabulous musicians who are steeped in the cultural traditions of their home region in the western Piedmont and foothills of Caldwell County. They started playing music through the influence of family members and neighbors, who tutored them in country, bluegrass, swing and blues music that you find in and around Lenoir, which was once a furniture making center in North Carolina. They have also immersed themselves in pop music genres and integrate versions of soul, jazz, folk and rock songs into their repertory.
Devoted to their family and community, they arrange their performance schedule so that they don’t have to spend many overnights away from home. Otherwise, they would be touring across the country. Music is a way of life for their family, and on March 28, 2019 they traveled to Raleigh to perform at Music at the Mansion, a special concert series celebrating the 2019 North Carolina Year of Music at the N.C. Executive Mansion. Enjoy their full performance - made possible by the North Carolina Arts Council Foundation - below.