For sixteen years, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have been brewing their own blend of American roots music. Their shows sparkle with songs and stories that celebrate and tackle the human condition. From an early 1900’s farmers’ lament to a swing tune penned for Arbo’s elderly neighbor, the band’s repertoire is crafted to build bridges between musicians and listeners and between performance and life. The quartet’s energy and warmth pull audiences in, enthrall them, and return them home with opened hearts.
Musically, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is a melting pot of American folk melody and style, “a mini music festival of different styles filtered through the vibrant interaction of all four players." (Dirty Linen). In the lineage of string bands who blur the boundaries of American roots music, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have always been standard-bearers, with a particular knack for pairing words and music. From bluegrass barnstormers to sultry swing, old-time gospel to bluesy folk-rock, they consistently turn in lush arrangements with “stylish, unexpected choices” (Acoustic Guitar). Original songs fit seamlessly aside artful re-workings of Georgia Sea Islands music, Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen — just a few of the many places this band is willing to go.
Writes Maverick Magazine, “How refreshing to hear something that sounds as if it has come from people who are genuinely original thinkers. As soon as Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem strike up, you realize this is a band that is unpredictable and impossible to pigeonhole. But, what a thoroughly mellifluous mélange — sophisticated, soulful and always handled with care and a lightness of touch that is part folk/jazz/ country, part blues/old time, and all good. There is a togetherness that flows right through the heart of the performance. It never gets too clever and always remains understated and classy.”
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem are Rani Arbo (fiddle, guitar), Andrew Kinsey (bass, banjo, ukulele), Anand Nayak (electric and acoustic guitars) and Scott Kessel (percussion). At the helm, Arbo is “blessed with an unmistakable voice, both light
and sultry, with a hint of tremolo and smoke” (Acoustic Guitar). With Kinsey and Nayak’s vibrant baritones and Kessel’s resonant bass, the band’s signature lockstep harmonies can shake the rafters or hush the room. Arbo’s fiddle is sweet and sinewy, while Nayak’s guitar stretches across genre lines. Kinsey’s old-time bass anchors the deep groove of Kessel’s homemade percussion kit — a truly funky collection of cardboard boxes, tin cans, caulk tubes, packing-tape tambourines, bottle-cap rattles, Mongolian jaw harps, and a vinyl suitcase.
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have toured North American performance halls (Krannert Center, University of Florida, CalTech, Kravis Center, Walton Arts Center and others) and major festivals (Newport Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, California World Music Festival and more) for over a decade. They have five releases on Signature Sounds, including Violets Are Blue (2015) and Some Bright Morning (2012. The band’s debut family album, Ranky Tanky (Mayhem Music, 2010), won top awards from the Parents’ Choice Foundation, National Association of Parenting Publications, and the American Library Association. The band’s strong residency programs include school and family shows, hands-on percussion-building workshops and Arts in Medicine offerings.