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Old North State
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Old North State


At 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21

The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.

Think of all the great brother acts through time, from Charlie and Ira Louvin, Phil and Don Everly, Neil and Tim Finn through Seth and Scott Avett and a dozen more. There's something there, something genetic perhaps, that makes two voices blend perfectly in a sort of goose-bumpy organic harmony.

Add Dillon and Jantzen Wray to the list. Born and raised in Asheville, N.C., the siblings are now based in Durango, Colo., where they write, play and sing together under the moniker Old North State.

With Dillon on acoustic guitar and kickdrum, and elder brother Jantzen on banjo, they produce a sound that's rooted in bluegrass and old-time acoustic music, but moves fast and furious, and on a melodic road, like fine acoustic pop.
This Sentient Bean show is Old North State's Savannah debut.

"We actually didn't play together much when we were younger," Dillon tells Connect. "We played music separately, in our own groups. I was a punk and metal kid, and Jantzen really liked old rock, Tom Petty and stuff like that. Jantzen went out to Colorado to go to college, and when my band broke up I went out to visit him. And I never went back to North Carolina."

An obsession with acoustic music came slowly to the brothers.

"Some of the older emo bands that were coming out, like The Early November and bands like that, would have an acoustic track on their album that would just blow me away," Dillon explains. "That's what first got me into acoustic guitar. It was so honest and such a perfect representation of what's going on in that studio at that moment. From that point I started listening to bands like Dashboard Confessional, all acoustic. I think it was probably about the same for Jantzen.

"About four or five years ago, we fell in love with Yonder. And the Avett Brothers - I'm from Asheville so I was subjected to quite a lot of their shows. I probably saw them 20 times before 2007. Scott Avett's definitely the guy that taught us that you can do some crazy stuff with the banjo. And Jantzen found a lot of influence in Dave Carroll, the banjo player from Trampled By Turtles, from Minnesota."

Although there is a full Old North State band, because they're strictly DIY the bros have left the bassist and drummer back home. They're playing these shows strictly as a twosome.

"Old North State" is, of course, North Carolina's State Song. "Even though we consider ourselves to be a Colorado band, we're North Carolina people," Dillon Wray says. "So we wanted that pride to carry through."


As he prepares his new solo CD Greener (due Oct. 1), singer/songwriter and former Hazel Virtue frontman Eric Britt  has been turning up at clubs all over Chatham County. This week, he'll play at Casimir's Lounge (Mansion at Forsyth) on the 16th, at Coco's on Tybee the 17th, Jazz'd Tapas Bar on the 19th, and in City Market on the 20th ... Reggae-jammers Kota Mundi are at Live Wire Aug. 18 ... American Aquarium has an Aug. 31 Jinx date, in celebration of the new Burn.Flicker.Die album ...


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