Chapel Hill has an extremely rich musical tradition. Jazz, gospel, the Piedmont blues, rock, metal, punk, and hip-hop; it's all been cradled there. What many people might not realize is how much country music owes to artists that hail from the area, and Mandolin Orange has a healthy respect for the old-time twang that its North Carolina homestead helped to nurture along in its embryonic stages. But this duo is no battling banjo act. While the band is definitely steeped in the long lineage of lyrical country, folk, and bluegrass, it adds a modern touch that makes it relevant in today's musical landscape.
Mandolin Orange performs Wednesday, October 23, 8:30 p.m. at Abilene, 153 Liberty Pole Way, $7-10, abilenebarandlounge.com.
— BY DAVID YOCKEL, JR.