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Mandolin Orange
plus The Dead Tongues

Wednesday 31st January 2018

The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE

Doors 7.30 pm
Tickets £13 in advance, £15 on the night
Buy tickets . . .
Empty Room Promotions 2018 ©
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Due to sound check restriction the door time indicates the earliest opportunity we can give access to the venue. Live music will start 20-30 minutes after the door open time.

Acclaimed North Carolina-based band Mandolin Orange’s new album, ‘Blindfaller,’ is now #3 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart and #7 on Heatseekers after its recent release on Yep Roc Records. No Depression raves, “The voices of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz were seemingly destined to make music and beautiful sounds together in harmony…the music they make is nothing short of perfection.” Their single, “Hard Travelin’,” previously premiered via PopMatters, who called the track, “a delightful mix of Americana, bluegrass and country.” The new release builds on the acclaim of the band’s breakthrough Yep Roc debut, This Side of Jordan (2013), and last year’s Such Jubilee (2015).

While staying true to their Americana sound, the new album tackles modern day themes seen in our daily headlines. The North Carolina duo—comprised of Emily Frantz (fiddle/vocals) and Andrew Marlin (mandolin/vocals)— recorded the album in a one week break from touring at Rubber Room Studio in Chapel Hill, NC. To bolster their message and sound on ‘Blindfaller ‘ the duo added a full band, which features Clint Mullican on bass, Kyle Keegan on drums, Allyn Love on pedal steel, and previous collaborator, Josh Oliver, on guitar, keys, and vocals.


Founded in 2009, Mandolin Orange has built a noteworthy catalogue of recordings. The band’s 2013 release ‘This Side of Jordan’ garnered critical acclaim such as NPR, who called the album “effortless and beautiful,” and American Songwriter, who said it was “honest music, shot through with coed harmonies, sweeping fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and the sort of unfakeable intimacy that bonds simpatico musicians like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.” Their 2015 follow-up, Such Jubilee, furthered their standing with inclusion in Rolling Stone’s “30 Great Country Albums of 2015 You Probably Didn’t Hear,” NPR’s Folk Alley’s “Best of 2015 Listener’s Poll,” and Amazon’s “Best of the Next 2015.” The record was #1 on Magnet’s “Top 10 Indie Roots Albums of 2015” and Paste called it “an album full of blissful moments.” 

On the road, the band has built a dedicated following with extensive touring including appearances at Austin City Limits Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Pickathon. In describing the duo Paste noted,
“…the incredible musical bond between Marlin and Frantz…[is] an innate chemistry that’s been honed in the studio, strengthened by the road, and refined by time.”

For the last 6 years, songwriter, guitarist, and producer Ryan Gustafson has been making music as The Dead Tongues; building his own corner of the new American musical landscape with twangy garage jams, bohemian country shuffles, opened-tuned meditations, and melancholy love notes. While spending time in the studio or on the road with Hiss Golden Messenger, Charlie Parr, and Phil Cook, Ryan and longtime collaborator Andrew Marlin, along with perennial bandmates James Wallace and Jeff Crawford, found time to record The Dead Tongues third album, Montana, an exploration into his uniquely new and old approach to songwriting. From the easy psychedelic blues of “Graveyard Fields” to “Empire Builder”–an instantly memorable combination of fleet-fingered picking and vocal melody that could shed a little sunlight on Springsteen’s bleak Nebraska–Ryan wields a diverse palette with a singular voice.


His work hints at the tradition of folk storytelling without succumbing to it’s obvious tropes, chronicling existence as he sees it; a strange and beautiful tale of heartbreak and adventure. In these simple arrangements is a harmonious duality–spectres of the past haunting the struggles of the present, a seamless medley of intimate emotion and boundless landscape, a hard-earned sense of sorrow and hope. The resulting mixture creates a space big enough to roam in. Montana is a document of the present moment and all moments that came before, a tale of the modern world spoken in dead tongues.