M-Shop to host Mipso’s first appearance in Iowa

College grads embark on musical career

Courtesy of Student Union Board

College grads embark on musical career

Emily Benda

Mipso, a North Carolina-based band, will perform at the Maintenance Shop on Feb. 26. The group was created during the members’ time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

A traditional bluegrass with a pop edge is how Mipso’s fiddle player, Libby Rodenbough, would describe their music. Mipso originally began as a three-man-band with Jacob Sharp on mandolin, Joseph Terrell on guitar and Wood Robinson on double bass.  

Rodenbough soon joined Mipso after falling in love with the traditional North Carolina style. Rodenbough was originally trained as a classical violinist, but took a year off from school to study traditional fiddle techniques in Chicago and Ireland.

“I’m glad I took a year off. I think that made me more capable of finishing the rest of [school]. That’s how I realized I was so passionate about music,” Rodenbough said. 

The band’s passion for music has grown from a hobby to a living. With graduations in 2013 and 2014, Mipso has gained more time to tour and develop their music career. They are currently on their longest tour of six weeks, traveling the Midwest. 

While Rodenbough was not a full member of Mipso at the time, she said it was recording Mipso’s most recent album, “Dark Holler Pop,” that inspired the band to consider music professionally. 

“That album was interesting because when they started making it they [Sharp, Terrell, Robinson] thought it would be their last musical endeavor because it was during the last years of college, but in the studio the music was so positive and so much fun. The process made them think maybe we could do this more seriously,” Rodenbough said. 

Mipso plans to release a new album this September. According to Rodenbough, students can expect to hear a lot of their newer songs at the show. 

“I’m usually not a folk music person, but their lyrics are really good,” said Lara Hetherton, freshman in pre-industrial design. 

Rodenbough also has advice for college students playing in their own bands. 

“Don’t be afraid to take it seriously. If you realize you’re having fun and have a good thing, trust your intuition on that and people are likely to respond to something that is honest and inspired,” Rodenbough said.  

Mipso will play at the Maintenance Shop at 8 p.m. Feb. 26 on their first visit to Iowa. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 with a student ID and $12 for the public, with a $2 increase the day of the performance.