Ahead of its Aug. 20 Yep Roc debut, Mandolin Orange’s Andrew Marlin sat down with CMT to talk about growing up in smalltown North Carolina, how his first-ever folk lyrics made it on the upcoming This Side of Jordan, and what it’s like playing with label mates Chatham County Line.
Check out the excerpt below, and head to CMT Edge for the full Q&A.
It’s good to take up traditional instruments and do something new. You use a lot of acoustic guitar, mandolin and fiddle — almost a pre-bluegrass configuration — but there’s something about your mellow singing that feels more contemporary to me.
I’ve heard some of my friends say, “Man, you sing just like you talk.” So I guess that’s maybe what I do. I don’t really have any singers that I try and sing like. I’m sure I’m inspired by a lot of different singers. … A lot of bluegrass, there’s a certain way that people think you need to sing, and they’ll go for that.
I understand Emily got into bluegrass by going to hear nearby bands like Chatham County Line and the Steep Canyon Rangers play when she was in high school. Now you’re labelmates with Chatham County Line. Does that seem like a big deal?
It’s not something we talk about very regularly, just because by now we’ve gotten to know the Chatham County Line boys. I played a show with [Chatham members] Jon Teer and Chandler [Holt] not long ago. I guess the scene here is so closely knit. It’s a small town. So we all just kinda play with each other.
I think when that first started going down is what got us the most excited. We were like, “Wow, these people are calling us for gigs now.” But, yeah, to be on the same label with them and to be able to perform with them is definitely an honor and a morale boost.Chatham County Line, cmt, CMT Edge, Mandolin Orange, This Side of Jordan