Carrying a variety of influences into the traditional string band format, North Carolina's Mipso made a rapid ascent to popularity in 2013 when their sophomore album hit the upper reaches of Billboard's bluegrass chart. A mix of intricate parts, rich harmonies, and accessible melodies, the group became a consistent bluegrass chart presence for the remainder of the decade, hitting number one with 2015's Old Time Reverie and 2018's Edges Run while crossing into the indie folk world and establishing themselves as a festival favorite with international aspirations.
While attending college at UNC-Chapel Hill, mandolinist Jacob Sharp, guitarist Joseph Terrell, and bassist Wood Robinson began playing together in informal jam sessions, learning their craft as instrumentalists and developing their rich vocal blend. Initially billed as the Mipso Trio, their 2012 debut Long, Long Gone, blended regional Appalachian influences with early country, jazz, bluegrass, and folk, and featured collaborations by guest fiddler Libby Rodenbough. The band began gigging more frequently and, after partnering with local Chapel Hill label Robust, released their 2013 follow-up, Dark Holler Pop. With their name truncated simply to Mipso, their second album became a surprise hit, quickly rising to number eight on Billboard's Bluegrass chart and raising the band's profile significantly. By the time of 2015's Old Time Reverie, Rodenbough had joined the group as full-time member, and their sound continued to expand into richer, and occasionally darker, textures. The album topped the bluegrass chart and made a strong showing on Billboard's folk chart as well, leading to an appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York later that year. Mipso continued to evolve over subsequent releases, adding drums to several tracks on 2017's Coming Down the Mountain and 2018's Edges Run -- the latter of which gave them their second number one on the bluegrass chart -- while staying true to their signature pastoral folk mix. In August 2020, in advance of the group's eponymous sixth album, they released "Coyote," a gentle rumination on the transience of touring life. ~ Timothy Monger
HOMETOWNChapel Hill, NC