Secret Carrboro Ninja Patrol Show Review: Jan. 22nd

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As a bundled up line of scarves, heavy coats and toboggans the length of Franklin Street's five-hundred block filtered slowly in to Local 506and thawed into cheery faces charmed with anticipation for the evenings headlining act Mandolin Orange, openers Big Al Hall andThe Sinful Savage Tigers turned the stage room into a zippy folk skiffle ball room and threw them a welcoming party. 

Stacking the room shoulder to shoulder, the fully charged capacity crowd and an electrified Sinful Savage Tigers beamed energy back and forth through a full set of peppery three minute acoustic Americana romps and near honky-tonk foot stompers which were cut up and glued back together by enamouringly quick witted banter on the mic between songs. A fun, funny, and fascinating Seth Martin held attentions in suspended animation for the length of his string trio's time on stage. "He's so weird!" came a gleeful exclamation from within ear shot after Seth left the audience smitten with laughter on a sharp one-liner. Song in, the crowd fixed with SST's confident rollicking and jolly hook driven Americana tunes, song out the crowd cheered and giggled with SST's character and charisma. Wilmington's Southern and stately Big Al Hall lead the night off with true-type folk croons designed for the solo spot light. "I love the old timey stuff" I over heard as Hall picked a high stepping bluegrass rhythm on the banjo. Across the length of his set, variety was maintained with a host of style changes from six strings to four strings and set the pace for an evening of the areas best acoustic music.

With Big Al Hall and The Sinful Savage Tigers having given all they could give to an absorbing crowd, Mandolin Oranges took the stage and lulled the cheerful chatty room to a calm as still as the countryside at dawn. As the crowed diminished into silence, two song birds pierced the air with perfectly true harmonies and delicate melodies. Country gentleman Andrew Marlin soft pedaled the first few songs with boldness and poise wise beyond his years as Southern belle Emily Frantz sparkled out crisp clean notes on electric guitar and softly hummed backing vocals. The crowd momentarily woke from their trance and cheered as Andrew reached for his trademark mandolin and Emily shouldered her violin. Emily stepped to the mic and gracefully let go a set of sultry ballads which were quietly sung along with by those around me who were seemingly swaying in time with the rocking of her violin bow. 

From the opening set by Big Al Hall through the final whispers of Mandolin Orange, the stage room was as packed with warm bodies as have ever been at The Local 506, yet for the charm of being part of a wonderful night, not a soul seemed to mind the close quarters. Spirits held high in the enthusiasm of being part of the grand local Americana music culture which the evening's performers showcased. --Carrboro Ninja

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