Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards 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.
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 eight years 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.
Born four years ago from a love of American folk music and nurtured in Boston’s burgeoning acoustic music scene, Hoot and Holler spent the better part of 2016 living in their camper van “Irene” and playing shows around the country. Ever inspired by the enduring spirit of traditional Appalachian mountain music, they now call Asheville, North Carolina their home. Their songwriting comes across as simple, honest, and fresh to the ears. Fans of tight duo harmonies will love the tender harmonizing between Amy and Mark that falls in line with masters like Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. Both are Berklee College of Music alumni, and the listener can expect the polished technique of music school training imposed with the grit and drive of musicians like Bill Monroe or Ola Belle Reed.
Instrument swapping is common during a performance. Sometimes they don two guitars, other times switching to fiddle and banjo, all the while seamlessly blending their vocals as they sing songs infused with the vitality of the landscapes which they have traveled.