The Americana Folk/Roots movement is well represented here in the Dayton area. The Miami Valley is bursting with amazing, young talent, including Dayton native, Mark Cantwil. Cantwil showcased his talents recently at Oddbody’s Music Room opening for North Carolina’s “Mipso”. The Wednesday night show was a welcome and much needed mid-week diversion!
While many musicians can’t wait to break away from the “local scene” Singer/Songwriter Mark Cantwil embraces his small town heritage. Cantwil is a master storyteller. His lyrics are inspired by his own life experiences as well as the people and places that surround him. Each song takes you on a heartfelt journey filled with real life struggles and triumphs.
For his set at Oddbody’s, Cantwil enlisted the help of longtime friend and guitarist, Brett Mullins. The acoustic set was filled with Cantwil originals including plenty of tunes from his newest album called Diggin’ on You. Cantwil displayed his versatility with tunes like “The Puppet” that reveals the dark side of life’s struggles.
There were plenty of Cantwil fans in the audience too, including Mark’s parents who were front and center for the entire set. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional when Cantwil dedicated his last song of the evening to his mother. Mark ended the night with her favorite tune called “Black Coffee and Cigarettes” from his debut album, Last Chance Johnny.
Making their first appearance to the Dayton area was North Carolina’s renegade string band Mipso. While influenced by the traditional Bluegrass sounds of Appalachia, the band has forged a sound all their own by combing the traditions of the past with a contemporary flair that incorporates elements of Bluegrass, Jazz, and Folk.
I imagine it can be daunting to step onto an unfamiliar stage and perform in front of a room full of strangers but this quartet from Chapel Hill exhibited no signs of concern as they made their Oddbody’s debut.
The band came out of the gate smoking with their song “Tried Too Hard” that features the three part harmonies of Jacob Sharp (Mandolin), Joseph Terrell (Guitar), and Wood Robinson and highlights the sobering fiddle of Libby Rodenbough.
The set continued with plenty of originals from the band’s 2013 release entitled Dark Holler Pop including “Carolina’s Calling” featuring Terrell on vocals. The band was eager to perform a new tune for us as well called “Honey Bee” which I really hope will be on the new album scheduled for release this fall.