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Mebane, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2000

Mebane, North Carolina, United States
Established on Jan, 2000
Band Folk World


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Still working on that hot first release.



Mebanesville has brought the best in musica italiana popolare e moderna—traditional and contemporary—to audiences at some of the most popular clubs, wineries, restaurants, festival, and concert stages, as well as universities and community organizations, in the Triangle and Triad of North Carolina, and beyond. 

Mebanesville co-founder, Lorèins “Larry” Vellani, is the immediate descendant of Reggio Emilian (Arşân ed Rèz) emigrants. Larry began collecting melodies and lyrics from his family, and later friends and professional musical influences, reflective of the reality of the uprooted and resettled. Growing up in the Hilltop Community of Columbus, Ohio, Larry learned how to sing in Latin and Italian before he could read in English.

Larry has performed with some of the most respected interpreters of social and narrative song and dance—in English, Italian, and Spanish--including Guy and Candy Carawan, Barbara Dane, Mimi Fariña, Ronnie Gilbert, Rhiannon Giddens, Beverly Grant, Si Kahn, Natalia Marrone, Fran McKendree, Michela Musolino, Holly Near, Bruce Phillips, Baldemar Velasquez, and Salvatore Villani. He also has performed with some of the Southeast's most renowned traditional Anglo and African American musicians, including Lonny Austin, Marvin Gaster, Tommy Jarrell, Lauchlin Shaw, Paul Taylor, and Joe Thompson.

Larry’s early interest in traditional Italian song was fueled by his close relationship with his grandfather, Leonida Tranquillo Vellani, and his aunts Desolina Vellani DiNucci and Emma Vellani Soiu. Leonida and his wife and children were from the central Po River plain in north central Italy. La Pianura Padana area of Emilia Romagna and Veneto is the epicenter of a rich tradition of community and choral singing. The region produced two of north central Italy's most famous traditional performers, Giovanna Daffini (Mantova), and her accompanist spouse, Vittorio Carpi (Reggio Emilia). Leonida Vellani was an avid community singer with a repertoire of traditional and popular romance, anti-clerical, and syndicalist songs.

Larry’s early solo and ensemble work, with the Central Ohio-based “Streetroot Ensemble” and the “Scioto River String Band” always included a few traditional Italian pieces, mixing North American string-band instrumentation with traditional Italian rhythms and narratives.

A chance meeting with Italian folklorist and renowned oral historian Alessandro Portelli at the Highlander School in New Market, TN in the early 1980's helped Larry to understand more fully the unique legacy he had received from his family and inspired him to deepen his study and performance of Italian traditional melody and song.

For about fifteen years, while raising his family, Larry, similar to his grandfather, limited his performance to family, church, and community gatherings.

Mebanesville, the ensemble, began in the summer of 2000 as a group of Larry’s neighbors and friends, playing an informal Friday evening music session at a coffee bar in Mebane, NC. Soon people were inviting the musicians to play for private parties and special events. The players took the name Mebanesville – one of the area’s names from the late 18th into the 19th century prior to its legal incorporation as a town in the early 1880’s - to reflect their love of living locally but exploring music globally.

Today, the full-kit band includes Quad-Cities Iowa-born Anthony Holderied, drums; Chapel Hill, NC native, Chuck Hodson, mandolin and vocals; Colombian-born, Fernando Suárez González, piano-accordion and vocals; Ukranian-born, Iryna Tkachenko Bunnage on mandolin, melodica, and vocals; Greensboro, NC native, Jane Davis, violin and vocals; dual US and Italian citizen, Larry Vellani, guitar and vocals; Burlington, NC native, and dual US and Italian citizen, Peggy Boswell, pennywhistles and vocals; and Manhattan-born, Minnesota-educated, Steve Block, double-bass and vocals.

Mebanesville are featured performers at many of North Carolina’s most authentic Italian venues, including Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery, Ronda, NC; Giada's Trattoria, Kernersville, NC; Mebane Espress and Pomodoro Italian Kitchen, Mebane, NC; Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC; and Enrigo Italian Bistro, Cary, NC. Likewise, Larry and his friends have performed and tutored students at some of NC’s leading institutions of higher education, including UNC campuses in Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Greensboro; Elon University; Wake Forest University; and Alamance Community College and Johnston Community College.

Whether on stage or tableside, the Mebanaires of Mebanesville specialize in vocal and instrumental harmonies that creatively embrace the narratives of love, life, work, and the human condition.

Band Members