On the Road

On Tour: Mipso

By: Hannah Lee Leidy

From tapas-packed restaurants to hotel coffee, discover how this band stays full on the road.

Formed in 2012 while its members were attending UNC Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Mipso makes music that has observed and documented North Carolina life for the past decade. Each song plays like an ode to the Tar Heel State, with folksy influences, moody melodies, and earnest songwriting. While touring and at home, the band aims to support local businesses, from swinging by the Carrboro Farmers’ Market for in-season produce to snacking on eastern North Carolina peanuts. Their latest album, Book of Fools, puts the band back on the road for a national tour this fall. As they crisscross the Southeast, they’ll find their way to familiar haunts—in search of perfect pilsners in Appalachian hideaways and comfort food in North Carolina’s capital city.

Founding Member Jacob Sharp grew up in the same mountain town as Todd Steven Boera and David Bennett, the founders of Fonta Flora Brewery, in Nebo, North Carolina. He always makes a point of stopping at the brewery when the band’s on the road. “Farm-grown and foraged beers highlight the best of what happens every season in our little corner of the Appalachians,” Sharp says. “I’m a freak for their Nebo Pilsner, Carolina Gold, and all the Appalachian Wild Ales.”

Mipso Back Cover

Merritt’s Grill’s BLT on toasted sunflower seed bread is a perfect road
trip sandwich whenever the band is departing Chapel Hill. “Nothing like
pulling out of town the morning after a Cat’s Cradle show with one of these in
tow,” Sharp says.

“A lot of the tour is learning to live on the road—which means
surrendering the routines you keep at home. One routine I keep is that I travel with an Aeropress and my favorite coffee beans (often North Carolina favorites Carrboro Coffee Roasters or Hatchet) and make coffee every morning in a hotel room just like I do at home,” says Jacob Sharp.

The band’s mountain sound leads them through all of Southeast’s hot spots when they tour. Dino’s Bar and Grill in Nashville serves up late-night drinks and bites, making it a must-visit in Music City. The best part? The bar is a watering hole for other music industry folks, so “you don’t have to text your buds because they’re already there.”

When living in Carrboro (Chapel Hill’s artsy next-door neighbor), the band found solace at Poole’s Diner in Raleigh. “Ashley Christensen was one of the first chefs I began trusting blindly,” Sharp says.

There’s no shortage of good spots in Charleston but grabbing a tapaspacked dinner at Malagón lets the band catch up with friends before they head to the night’s show.

Listen to Mipso’s Latest Album, Book of Fools, On Spotify Here:

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