Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards Submitted photo

VIENNA — Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, contemporary American folksingers, will be performing at the Vienna Union Hall Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 7 pm. They are clearly inheritors of a timeless legacy, creating music that is both original and evocative of a rich tradition. Blending distinctive voices and a wide range of accompaniment (guitar, harmonica, ukulele, clarinet, penny whistle, electric bass), their songs have been well-received by audiences around the eastern United States and Canada since 2010. Transcending the genre of folk Americana, their music echoes inspiration from traditional folk duos and singer/songwriters like Ian & Sylvia, Kate Wolf and Neil Young – combining beautiful harmonies and a lyrical intensity, while establishing a unique sound of their own (taken from their website, http://markandraianne.com).

Both artists are products of central Massachusetts mill and factory towns, and for all their national exposure, they are passionately dedicated to the region and what it has to offer. Each summer for the past decade they have organized the “Massachusetts Walking Tour” where they hike the roads and trails of the Commonwealth, more than 100 miles in less than two weeks, in support of the arts in local communities along the way. Each evening they stop over in yet another Massachusetts town, putting on a free concert there, along with local performers and fellow artists who accompany them on their journey. These annual two-week treks also raise awareness of the trails and greenways in Massachusetts, using music to make important connections.

Their latest release, Live in Manitoba (Nobody’s Favorite Records 2018), is a collection of songs and short introductions from a thirteen date house concert tour of Manitoba, Canada organized through Home Routes /Chemin Chez Nous. This album demonstrates Mark and Raianne’s close connection to their audience, as well as musical versatility. The concert in Vienna will feature music from this collection as well as previous recordings. A Belgrade resident who attended their concert at the Union Church in Belgrade Lakes this spring offered this review: “ These two are the finest America folksingers I have heard in a generation.”


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