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with Humbird
$20 ADV / $22 DOS
Ages 18+

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About This Event



Bags (max size 12″ x 6″ x 12″) are allowed and will be searched upon entry. Exceptions will be made for necessary medical equipment and bags for nursing mothers. We encourage you to pack light with only the necessities to make the entry process as smooth as possible.


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“Book of Fools” is the new Mipso album. Some of the songs feel pretty rock and roll. There’s a looseness and an energy to the 11-song batch, with electric guitars and barroom piano and a good groove on the kit. It has some nice harmonies, too, the tight kind you’d expect from four friends who’ve been singing together for a decade. The songs are really good ones. You’ll want to keep singing them loud in the car and in your head while you walk around the supermarket. They may stick with you for a while.

The album came to life in the North Carolina mountains in the fall along with some long hikes along cold creeks. Then the band (aka Jacob, Joseph, Libby, and Wood) gathered in Oakland, California’s cherished Tiny Telephone Studio and stayed relaxed about the process. They invited long-time buddy Shane Leonard to play drums and produce, turned up the amps, and did a lot of it live to tape. On their sixth record–and after 1100 shows together– it felt fun to try some new sounds on the vibraphone, farfisa, mellotron, moog. Mostly they did what they do best: sing great and play great and write good songs. Maybe it’s better to think of Mipso as an American band, rather than an Americana band. Their attitude toward tradition could remind you of The Dead–or if we leave America, The Band and Fairport Convention. You have to absorb a lot of folk music to feel comfortable messing around with it. “Book of Fools” feels cozy and familiar but also strange, its songs sparkling with hand-me-down melodies and odd sounds and unanswered questions. Unanswerable questions. What would be the point in trying?

Mipso formed in 2012 as an excuse to play together between classes in Chapel Hill. Joseph Terrell came from a family of banjo-playing uncles and a guitarist grandma, and he’d gotten curious again about the string band music he’d heard as a kid. Jacob Sharp was raised on equal parts Doc Watson and Avett Brothers in the mountains of North Carolina and he was hunting for a chance to sing some harmonies. Wood Robinson added a Charlie Haden-esque interest in bridging jazz and grass sensibilities on the double bass, and Libby Rodenbough soon joined on fiddle, unsatisfied by her classical violin training but drawn like a moth toward the glow of old, weird Americana.

Their first album, “Dark Holler Pop,” produced by Andrew Marlin (Watchhouse), included Terrell-penned fan favorites “Louise” and “Couple Acres Greener” and turned recent-grads Mipso (“let’s try this for a year,” etc.) into a full-blown touring band. Although it hung out on the Billboard Bluegrass top 10, its sonic mission statement was in the name: “Dark Holler Pop” was groovier and catchier than its string band contemporaries; its unabashed poppiness belied the songs’ durability and depth.

2015’s “Old Time Reverie” earned them an invitation to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade wherein they rolled down 5th Avenue on a 12 foot bucket of fried chicken. They got to have breakfast on the green room bus with Pat Benatar and Questlove, but in hindsight the whole experience was a little beside the point. They doubled down on touring, playing upwards of 175 shows a year, honing a telepathic, sibling-esque connection onstage.

2017’s “Coming Down The Mountain,” produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee) added drums and pedal steel and put the band on bigger stages with an expanded Americana sound, including the Rodenbough-fronted title track, another streaming hit and live staple.

Mipso considered hanging up their hats in 2018 while recording “Edges Run” with Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Anais Mitchell). After five years of near-constant touring, they had started to wake up in hotel rooms wondering what state they were in; they’d never had pets. The album took off. Sharp’s intimate vocal on “People Change” floated into dorm rooms and coffee shops across America, cementing Mipso as a bona fide streaming success across four albums and placing them in that rarefied strata of bands with three distinct lead singers: The Band, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Sonic Youth, The Wailers, The B-52’s, Phish, Mipso. 2020’s self-titled start-fresh album on Rounder Records brought experimental Canadian producer Sandro Perri into the mix and minted a collection with moodier landscapes and unexpected textures such as “Hey, Coyote” and “Big Star”.

Post-pandemic Mipso is starting fresh again with “Book of Fools”. The songs might be their best yet: “Carolina Rolling By” shows Terrell at his most relaxed and confident while the band turns a story of a pill-popping truck driver into a meditative cosmic country-tinged head bopper. “The Numbers” flirts with 60s surf rock while Rodenbough winks and wags a finger at our market-obsessed culture, and “Broken Heart/Open Heart” features Sharp at his most heart-wrenching and earnest. Other standouts “East” and “Radio Hell” will infect you with earworms made of guitar riffs, Robinson’s pretzel-twisted upright bass lines, and saturated “ooohs” drifting in as if on AM radio waves.

Rock, country, indie-Americana: genre descriptors try but miss the point, which is that these four people and only these four people could’ve made this album. Only a decade in the van could’ve made this album. Only four personalities held in sustained, frictional balance could’ve made this album with its sizzling energy and unlikely cohesion. Mipso did it again. These are searching, driving songs from a band that’s still trying to say something different, still going somewhere new.

High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue
Madison, 53703