By the time 2019 came to its fitful end, Andrew Marlin knew he was tired of touring. He was grateful of course, for the ascendancy of Mandolin Orange, the duo he has cofounded in North Carolina with fiddler Emily Frantz exactly a decade earlier. With time, they had become new flagbearers of the contemporary folk world, sweetly singing soft songs about the hardest parts of our lives, both as people and as a people. Their rise particularly crowds that grew first to fill small dives, then the Ryman, then amphitheatres the size of Red Rocks humbled Emily and Andrew, who became parents to Ruby late in 2018. They had made a life of this. Still, every night, Andrew especially was paid to relive a lifetime of grievances and griefs onstage. After 2019 Tales of a Teardrop, a tender accounting of his mothers early death, the process became evermore arduous, even exhausting.
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