String band Mipso opens UTC Performing Arts Series
If you’re a new act struggling to be recognized, you know you’ve made it when you get invited to ride a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Mipso got that call in 2015.
Since then the indie Americana quartet was named by Rolling Stone as a favorite 2016 festival act, and they’ve put out two albums, “Old Time Reverie” and “Coming Down the Mountain.”
The string band will bring its traditional and progressive bluegrass to town Friday, Sept. 8, when Mipso opens the Performing Arts Series at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Fine Arts Center, 754 Vine St., at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
While students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, guitarist Joseph Terrell and mandolin player Jacob Sharp began performing at Chapel Hill open-mic nights as an acoustic duo. Motivated to form a band to play folk and bluegrass, they approached bass player Wood Robinson, with whom Terrell had performed in a campus party band, Funkosaurus Rex.
Billed as Mipso Trio, the guys began performi ng at campus events and occasionally around North Carolina.
After the 2012 release of “Long, Long Gone” and the addition of friend and fiddle player, Libby Rodenbough, Mipso Trio quickly became a campus staple.
Upon graduation from UNC in 2013, Terrell, Sharp, and Robinson took a two-week tour of Japan, playing at the Takarazuka Bluegrass Festival and a concert in Tokyo’s historic country music venue, Rocky Top. A documentary of that trip, “Mipso In Japan,” premiered at film festivals across the coun- try in 2014, including the NYC Picture Start Film Festival.
The band released “Dark Holler Pop” in 2013, which appeared on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart and raised the band’s profile leading to a U. S. tour in 2014. In April 2014, Terrell won the General category of Merlefest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.
With 2015’s “Old Time Reverie,” Mipso expanded into richer textures, a dding c l awhammer banjo and electric organ. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart.
On “Coming Down the Mountain,” Mipso continues to push the boundaries of Americana music, where classic folk- rock and modern alt- country sounds mingle with Appalachian tradition.
For tickets: 423- 4254269.
String band Mipso plays at UTC Friday night.