Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
For some, legacies mean something big, something that gets written into books, something that's resounding and spectacular. For others - for most of us, frankly, a legacy might mean something simpler. It's likely the children that we rear and leave behind when we die. It's the children that come from them. It's some of the goodness that we hopefully possessed that causes people to choke up when they remember us after we're gone. It's a work ethic that was revered and it's a pile of secrets, all kinds of things done without a word. It's being extraordinarily sweet and true to a small group of people who are closest to you, and then being almost the same way with everyone else that will get you that longevity that you might be seeking. The formula is simple. There's nothing to it and still, the margin of error is small.
The Carrboro, North Carolina group Mandolin Orange, consisting of primary players Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, comes from a place that appreciates the tendrils of a life -- that celebrates the continuity of blood running through generations. They celebrate the fractures that are more like beauty marks. They highlight the amazing qualities and attributes of people when they choose to love, take care of and worry about other people besides themselves.
Marlin sings, "Born to live and never die/From the time she rose til the time she sets/The old girl knows she never forgets/A gambling heart/ If it bleeds enough/She'll remember me someday," on the song, "Never Die," and it speaks to those flaws and the charm that often lies in them, in the risks associated with them. They take us to these quiet, introspective places where nothing's settled just yet. Everything's up in the air, but that's all that can be expected. The uncertainty is substantial and yet, the hope flies in the face of it all, "where the eyes are big and the odds are lean."