Next Gig: Warming up Mandolin Orange on Oct. 1

There are two reasons why you should go to my friend Alan Kanner‘s for a house concert featuring the traditional acoustic folk/country group Mandolin Orange on Wed., Oct. 1, 7 p.m., at (the quaintly named) “Square in the Circle,” 6714 Poplar Ave., in Takoma Park, Md.

By an order of magnitude, the biggest reason you should go is that Mandolin Orange — the duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz (pictured below) — is extraordinary. As one reviewer put it, “They craft simple songs that go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure. Using acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz allure with a heart-worn sensibility. Last year’s Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stanger combines bluegrass, rock and country for lullabies that swoon.” I’ve listened to all three of their albums and have become a huge fan.

Check out these videos mandolin-ornage2if that’s not enough to convince you.

This is a chance to hear in an intimate venue (about 50 seats) and for the low-low price of only $20 a group that is already on its way to becoming a major force in their genre of music and well beyond. If you don’t know them now, eventually you will — and should.

The second, much less compelling reason for you to go is to hear me. Alan has generously offered me the opportunity to provide a brief warm up to Mandolin Orange, and I’m thrilled and humbled to do it.

This will be pretty far from my usual jazz act. With my guitar, I’ll be singing a few country, folk and blues selections. Though the featured act should be enough reason to go, I’m hoping my playing might push you over the edge and get you there.

If you do plan to go, it’s essential to email Alan at so that he can be sure there’s still room in what is a limited space.

I know it’s a school night, but, really, you owe it to yourself to come hear Mandolin Orange. You will be amazed by them. I hope to see you there.

Jeff Weintraub