Mipso: Musical Ambassadors
The Merlefest organizers in Wilkesboro recently announced performers for 2015. And, of the new bands added to the lineup of the illustrious festival, none is more deserving than Mipso.
This Chapel Hill, NC-based group made a name for themselves while still students at the University of North Carolina. Now, less than two years after graduation, they have quickly become torchbearers for newer bands carrying on historic musical traditions in the Old North State and beyond. Their mix of authentic folk, infused with a contemporary vibe, upholds Doc Watson’s “traditional-plus” spirit.
Although new to the roster, they aren’t strangers to Merlefest. This past April, Mipso’s Joseph Terrell was first-place winner in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, which is held annually at the festival. He won with his song “Angelina Jane,” a finely-crafted masterpiece that presents a poetic, gently-flowing folk lament. And, it adds another delightful layer with a reply from the absent lover, creating a musical dialogue and clever counterpoint.
Mipso -- Terrell, along with and bandmates Jacob Sharp, Wood Robinson, and Libby Rodenbough -- has produced two albums: Long, Long Gone (2012) and Dark Holler Pop (2013) while packing venues and sharing stages with eminent performers such as David Holt, David Childers, Chris Eldridge, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Chatham County Line.
Their talents haven’t just been confined to the Western Hemisphere, either. In 2013, Mipso toured Japan and China. This adventure was recorded by filmmaker Jon Kasbe in the award-winning documentary Mipso in Japan:
Considering all of this, the members of Mipso obviously make great musical ambassadors.