Sign up for newsletter
 

Mandell lights up

Thursday, April 30, 2015 – Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell will release her 10th studio album, "Dark Lights Up," on July 24 on Yep Roc Records.

Following a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame while on tour with her two young children, Mandell was inspired by and reflected on her classic country influence. After listening to Roger Miller, who her kids fell in love with, she "was really struck by how simple his production was, and how central his voice and how open the sound was on the record. It was really organic. There aren't a lot of layers, and the melody and his voice and the words were more beautiful for it. It made me want to de-clutter and strip away and make something simple that still sounded full and beautiful."

With that sound in mind and at the production helm of her 10th album, Mandell entered longtime collaborator and co-producer Sheldon Gomberg's Silver Lake studio, assembling all of the musicians together in a single room with only acoustic instruments. Cut live in four days, the album features Mandell on vocals and acoustic guitar, Jake Blanton (acoustic guitar), Ryan Feves (upright bass), Nate Walcott (piano, trumpet, flugelhorn) and Mike Green (drums, tambourine).

Mandel's debut Wishbone was released in 1999, followed by Thrill (2000/Zedtone), Snakebite (2001/Zedtone), Country for True Lovers (2003/Zedtone), Afternoon (2004/Zedtone), Miracle of Five (2007/Zedtone), Artificial Fire (2009/Zedtone), I Can See The Future (2012/Yep Roc), and Let's Fly A Kite (2014/Yep Roc). She's also a member of the indie folk supergroup The Living Sisters with Inara George and Becky Stark, who have released two albums.

Songs are:
1. I'm Old Fashioned
2. What Love Can Do
3. Someone To Love Like You
4. Cold Snap
5. China Garden Buffet
6. Town Called Heartache
7. Old Lady
8. Magic Pair Of Shoes
9. If You Wanna Get Kissed
10. Baby, Don't Call
11. Butter Blonde and Chocolate Brown
12. Do It Again

CD reviews for Eleni Mandell

Let's Fly a Kite CD review - Let's Fly a Kite
When you grace the stage and tour with the likes of a lyrical craftsman such as Nick Lowe, one might be lucky enough to listen and learn. Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell had that good fortune a few years ago, and the result seems to have had some of Lowe's simple but stylish traits rub off on Mandell judging by the opening track on "Put My Baby To Bed." Here Mandell catches your ear with the old-school arrangement complete with some nifty clarinet accents. Of course, having »»»
Miracle of Five CD review - Miracle of Five
Eleni Mandell has the vocal and emotional range to move effortlessly amongst genres from traditional country to contemporary jazz, and her latest effort contains influences from across that range, but they're subtly blended into her hallmark noirish style. It's easy to imagine her in a black and white film - a sultry singer on the stage of a smoky night club. Every vocal adds to the air of exoticism and mystery. The intimate songs cover classic torch territory, but there's a »»»
Country for True Lovers
With hints of Beth Orton, a bit of Aimee Mann and maybe Gillian Welch, Eleni Mandell serves up a generally laid back, but consistent fourth album. Mandell tends to take a go slow, chanteuse approach la Orton - this is no rushed affair - but with a spare country sound, often underpinned by acoustic guitar. There's a good amount of pedal steel and twang throughout the 14 songs. Just when monotony threatens, Mandell smartly changes the pace. Her cover of Merle Haggard's "I've Got a Tender Heart" »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: LSD tour provides a lot of highs – This was not your grandkids' country, that's for sure. Even the name of the tour - the LSD Tour - was a throwback (albeit far before the principals were making music). But make no mistake about it. With the ever cool country traditionalist Dwight Yoakam, the country with some rock and blues and rabble rousing of Steve Earle thrown in and the... »»»
Concert Review: Alvin, Gilmore fortunately get together – Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had known each other for decades, but it wasn't until last year that they toured together in a guitar pull setting. What started as a small Texas tour mushroomed into points east and west and eventually the release earlier this month of their blues-based disc, "Downey to Lubbock." And now we have the... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
Bigger CD review - Bigger
Sugarland is back with "Bigger," its first studio album in nearly a decade. And its arrival says more about branding, than anything else. Although his voice is heard often enough on this album to make his presence felt, it's still difficult to get away from seeing Kristian Bush in the Oates to Hall or Ridgeley to Michael role in this duo.  »»»
This One's For You Too CD review - This One's For You Too
Luke Combs has gotten a lot of life out of his album "This One's for You," which includes his breakthrough hit "Hurricane," as well as the popular single "When It Rains It Pours." This deluxe edition includes five new tracks, many of which are just as strong as the original 12.  »»»
Things Change CD review - Things Change
There may be no other CD title this year quite as apropos as this one. Things have indeed changed for American Aquarium since their previous studio album (2015's underrated "Wolves"). For one thing 80 per cent of the band quit, leaving only lead vocalist and songwriter BJ Barham. »»»
Dancing With The Beast CD review - Dancing With The Beast
Informed by the renewed strength of today's woman's movement, particularly in light of recent cultural social and political upheavals, Gretchen Peters' "Dancing With the Beast" finds her sharing stories about loss, struggle, upheaval, tragedy and turmoil in ways that resonate with a common bond, though told from a woman's perspective. »»»
Hard Times Are Relative CD review - Hard Times Are Relative
Jason Boland and The Stragglers serve up the ninth helping of their unapologetic, get it or not, country, in the past 20 years. This appears to almost be two EP's with the first mostly being a hard country dance cd and the second being a little more "out there" mix of fun and contemplative tunes, much less easy to categorize. »»»