Washburn says ‘So Long’ to music duo

Washburn says 'So Long' to music duo

Shaun Collins,Washburn Review

Visitors to Mabee were in for a treat last Thursday night, as the library played host to the Kansas City based indie pop group So Long Solo, who played an hour and a half set and provided complimentary tea and treats.  The band’s visit to Washburn was sponsored by The Washburn University Campus Activities Board.

The duo is made up of Mark and Heather Miller, two music majors who blend a unique set of genres together to create a folksy artistic sound that’s pretty much the ultimate coffee house blend of Jason Mraz and Norah Jones.

“Expect a lot more sound than you usually get from two people,” said Mark Miller. “We love instruments, but we’re also really lyrically based as well.   Whenever we write, we never want to have a throwaway phrase, everything just fits or has a purpose for being in the song.”

Known formerly as theothermarkmiller, after realizing that markmiller.com was a car dealership and markmillermusic.com was a clarinet teacher.

Mark and Heather are constantly on the road with a full tour schedule, having played in over 20 states already this year.

“Even though we play all over the US at different colleges, this is the first Kansas college we’ve played at,”  said Heather Miller. “We’re on the road eight to 10 months out of the year.”

In addition to coffee shop music, So Long Solo brings a coffee shop attitude.  Their shows strive to be very laid back and have friendly affairs, complete with back and forth banter with the audience, group photos and a do-it-yourself free tea bar.

“Mark just had an idea once that what if we made our show more than just a show but an entire atmosphere or experience,” said Miller. “We love tea so much, other people would too. We started bringing it to shows just to create a more relaxing, refreshing atmosphere and it was a hit.”

Mark also offered advice to aspiring musicians. “Planning is really huge,” said Mark Miller. “Treat it like a new business, like an entrepreneur, and work your business plan.  Talk with someone who knows, and they’d love to help.  I’d love to help new musicians that are coming up and don’t know what to do. And be diligent.”

Over the course of their hour and a half set, So Long Solo played a mix of their own songs interspersed with a smattering of covers.

They have two CDs available for sale under theothermarkmiller name, “Threshold” and “Things Of This World, And Things That Aren’t” as well as a new album coming out under the new band name.

Fans can visit Mark and Heather on Facebook, or at www.solongsolo.com.