Little Mazarn is Lindsey Verrill and Jeff Johnston, an electric banjo and singing saw duo from Austin, TX. Inspired by the 1960s primitive folk revival and early “high lonesome” Appalachian sound, as well as modern minimalism and ambient music, they combine imaginative songwriting with dreamy and innovative use of traditional instruments and textures. Since 2016 they’ve been performing live in rock clubs, folk listening rooms and unconventional spaces such as dry riverbeds, abandoned buildings, galleries, theaters, and churches in the United States and Canada.
Their first record, a collection of original songs and reinterpreted traditional ballads, was released in December 2017. In May 2019 they will be releasing their second album titled Io recorded in August at Ramble Creek Studios.
Verrill and Johnston are also known individually for their work with Bill Callahan, Dana Falconberry, Okkervil River, Thor and Friends, and many others.
(Photo Credit: Mike Manewitz)
The music of Little Mazarn is a cool float a few feet from the ground through a dimly lit, almost familiar forest. It is quieter than silence, big as everything, still but always moving. If you’ve ever had flying dreams, or an amazing night time bike ride on LSD, this might be a world for you. Chords are made up of notes; Little Mazarn gives them all their own moment. There are NO superfluous notes played here.
Lindsey’s kind and twisting voice ambles along over the spare sounds of Jeff Johnston’s saw bowing, Ralph White’s electric mbira wanderings, and her own slow banjo. Like DJ Screw, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, and anyone who chooses to walk instead of ride, Lindsey realizes the amazing power of slow… slow… slow music. Lindsey is at once a baby and a wise old man. Get in this canoe at dawn on some Texas river that remembers when Comanche slept under the stars.