Mitchell Lane said his acoustic band, Raven and Red, couldn’t have picked a better venue to release its new CD, “We Rise Up,” than the Red Clay Foundry in Duluth, the city where he and fellow bandmate and brother Cole King were raised.
“I love the place, it is big, but at the same time it is intimate and you really can connect with the audience,” said Lane, who estimates the band has taken the stage there about six times. “The place has really been a home for us as a band.”
The trio of Lane (vocals, guitar), Brittany Lynn Jones (vocals, violin, guitar, mandolin) and King (mandolin and bass) will take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Raven and Red blends music from numerous genres into its songs throughout “We Rise Up.”
“So many of our musical influences seemed to flow into these songs naturally,” Jones said. “We listen to so many different genres, and I think that can be heard within our music. Each song adds its own distinct sound and emotion to this album. We love songs that tell true stories. Many of the songs on this album are inspired by true stories, but even the fictional stories reveal human truths that are familiar to everyone.”
“We Rise Up” combines an array of genres, including Americana, folk, classic country, bluegrass, Celtic and bits of classic rock and pop, which make Raven and Red’s sound unique.
“We find it difficult to really narrow down our style into one particular genre,” said Lane, who lives in Nashville, Tenn. “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.”
The latest twist in the journey occurred in December when King, who resides in Duluth and is a junior at Woodward Academy, started learning the bass, which he’ll play on Saturday.
The first song the trio wrote together for the album, “Living and Loving You,” represents a major step for Raven and Red.
“This is the first song we finished writing together, and it describes the feeling of coming to a crossroads in your life and having to make difficult decisions when you don’t feel ready,” Lane said. “Do you make a commitment to a loved one and create a life with him or her, or do you pursue your dreams — even if it means having to leave that person behind and risk it all?”
In Raven and Red’s four years together, it has opened for Grammy Award-nominees Connie Smith and Dailey & Vincent, multi-award-winning bluegrass groups Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and The Claire Lynch Band, and Irish pop/Celtic rock band Screaming Orphans.
Though the band has performed for several years, “We Rise Up” is the Raven and Red’s first album that features all original music.
“‘We Rise Up’ completed the album as the final song. We wanted it to have a positive message that anyone could relate to about overcoming obstacles and struggles and persevering — something everyone has to go through in their lives,” Lane said. “We also wanted it to sound catchy and fun at the same time, with lots of harmonies and instrumental solos throughout the song.”