Mipso with Jen McClung
Location: 3329 Lincoln Way Ames, Ia
Venue: Bluestem Stage
Time: 8 – 11
Price: 10 students/ 12 adults
Mipso: Award-winning songwriting crossed with a renegade approach to American roots
The renegade traditionalists of Mipso are doing their part to push the Appalachian folk & bluegrass tradition into new territory. This NC four-piece borrows the best from bluegrass, contemporary country, pop, gospel, folk and American singer-
songwriter traditions to create their hallmark sound.
When Mipso’s 2013 debut, Dark Holler Pop, rose to #8 on Billboard’s Bluegrass charts, the success surprised a lot of people – Mipso’s four members included. “Well, we didn’t know so many people would buy it,” laughs mandolin player Jacob Sharp, “and we definitely didn’t know we were a bluegrass band.”
Since then, Mipso has performed over 300 shows and welcomed frequent collaborator Libby Rodenbough’s voice and fiddle to the fold – and has continued to grow as musicians and songwriters, while drawing continual inspiration from their rich North Carolina roots.
While the instrumentation on the acclaimed Dark Holler Pop embraced North Carolina’s bluegrass heritage head-on, the new album Old Time Reverie finds Mipso shifting their focus away from bluegrass, introducing new instruments and textures to create a distinctly different sound. Clawhammer banjo out of 1920s early country music meets atmospheric electric organ (played by Josh Oliver of The Everybodyfields) more native to 1970s pop. Add imaginative songwriting and a group cohesion gained from two years of near-constant touring, and the resulting sound is powerfully rhythmic, lyrically sharp, and woven with beautiful four-part harmonies.