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: These Eagles keep songs alive and well – The newly reconfigured Eagles lineup, which now includes Vince Gill and Deacon Frey in place of the late Glenn Frey, hasn't changed its set much since this modified grouping's debut at Dodger Stadium in 2017. Don Henley announced from the outset, though, how the group continues to tour primarily so it can keep the Eagles' many great songs alive.... »»»
Concert Review: Lovett could not have scripted it any better – Cerritos is a fair distance from Hollywood, but Lyle Lovett, who has accumulated a long list of acting credits, sometimes seemed like he was giving a company town performance this night. Maybe it was because Paul Reiser, the "Mad About You" star, introduced Lovett with a funny bit about what some of the man's songs mean (or don't mean).... »»»
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,... »»»
Cry Pretty CD review - Cry Pretty
Carrie Underwood's life was reading straight from the storybooks: one of the few American Idol Winners with ongoing success; a professional athlete for a husband; a beautiful baby boy. The string of great fortune turned sharply in 2017, »»»
My Way CD review - My Way
Not one to rest on his laurels, Willie Nelson's second studio release of the calendar year finds the artist dipping back into the Great American Songbook. Previous collections, including 1978's stellar Stardust, 2009's "American Classic" and 2016's "Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin," established Nelson as one of the finest modern interpreters of American standards.  »»»
Let It Pass CD review - Let It Pass
This is the swan song for The Stray Birds unfortunately, but at least they are parting with another musical triumph. This record barely got made as founding members, fiddler/guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Maya de Vitry and fiddle/guitarist/ »»»
Pretty Bird CD review - Pretty Bird
"Pretty Bird" is Kathy Mattea's first studio album in six years, following 2012's "Follow Me Home." The major reason for this gap was Mattea's realization that her voice was changing so much, she felt as if she was losing it altogether.  »»»
The Keep CD review - The Keep
New Reveille, a talented quintet from North Carolina, can boast the finest harmonies that any kind of music can offer. On their debut, New Reveille mine the early American sounds and make them sound fresh. It's a unique sound that embraces »»»
Cactus CD review - Cactus
Elise Davis tells stories and brings relatable, realistic lyrics rather overly relying on imagery, metaphors and symbolism. That was the general take on her widely acclaimed 2016 "The Token." Some of that assessment holds true again here on "Cactus,"  »»»