We Rise Up is the acoustic trio, Raven and Red’s, first album of original music. Originally from Georgia and Pennsylvania, they are now based in Nashville. Members are Brittany Lynn Jones – lead and harmony vocals, 5-string violin, tenor guitar, mandolin and banjolin; and brothers Mitchell Lane – lead & harmony vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars; and Cole King – harmony vocals, mandolin. They are joined by Paul Leech on electric and upright bass, and cello as well as Justin Collins on drums and percussion.
Mitchell carries most of the lead vocals with a clear, sturdy, easy-to-listen voice with Cole’s harmony as an anchor. Brittany’s voice is also rich and blends well with the two males. Given the band name, one can deduce that they started as a duo with Brittany and Mitchell. Cole is currently an 11th grader at Woodward Academy in Atlanta and was only 13 when he began performing with the group. “As a group, we are very focused on our vocals. We enjoy arranging harmonies and writing melodies that capture the lyrics in our songs,” says Brittany. “Cole’s voice creates a smooth blend, accentuating the harmonies, and his learning to play violin in school translated seamlessly to the mandolin,” adds Mitchell.
Mitchell and Brittany met while attending the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. They are both classically trained but were naturally drawn to folk music, perhaps because both have historic components. With the strong presence of the violin and mandolin across the songs, Celtic, bluegrass, and classic country strains are often evident, but the songs are approached mostly from a story-telling folk song perspective. Perhaps the best example is the devastatingly honest assessment of a breakup when one is still in love with the other in “It Could Have Been You.”
The band at times sounds a bit too smooth, and utterly sanitary, lacking that gritty element that would add even more texture to their sound. Yet, their tight harmonies, adept musicianship, and shifting genres will keep you engaged. When you may tire of a ‘sameness’ in sound, a killer song like “Grandpa’s Beer” or “Moonshine and Makeup” will grab your attention.
Mitchell observes, “We find it difficult to really narrow down our style into one particular genre. We have so many influences, from John Denver and Jim Croce to Tim O’Brien to classic rock and back to Bach. We are still learning from each other every day and developing our signature sound. This album is one milestone in our musical journey.” Stay tuned. The raw ingredients are in place and this is an auspicious beginning.