We finished our tour last Saturday at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. It was a long set…maybe too long, I don’t know and I don’t really care at this point. I think subconsciously I didn’t want the show to end. There has been so much work put into the release of Red-Winged Blackbird Man that…well…I guess I was not ready. I still want to play more towns, do more interviews, hear the album on more radio stations, push it push it and push it until we have exhausted every possible avenue for the music to travel! But the reality is we cannot. It wouldn’t be healthy or fair to our families. We have given it our best and have to let the album fly with the momentum we leave it. CDs have left our hands and into those of fans all over the country. Like a baton in a race our leg is done. It is up to you now to listen, love and lend. So, as I prepare to spend some time with my family, write and dream the next move… I take comfort knowing our work is in good hands. And though I could go on for a few more months playing my tail off, sometimes its best to leave wanting more. Who knows, that little gas left in the tank might get us to our next destination.
Stay in touch, spread the word and see you soon.
We are finishing our tour in our hometowns this weekend. The shows will be special. It will be the last shows before we dream it all up again.
Buy your tickets early!
MILWAUKEE-SHANK HALL-Nov 1st
CHICAGO-OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC-Nov 2nd
The new album, Red-winged Blackbird Man, has been released. The fall tour has begun!!
Sept 27-Livonia MI
Sept 28-Pittsburgh PA
Sept 29-Washington D.C
Sept 30-Baltimore MD
Oct 1-Shippensburg PA
Oct 2-Philly PA
Oct 4-Madison New Jersey
Oct 10-Fairfield IA
Oct 11-Excelsior MN
Oct 18- Cedar Rapids IA
Oct 19-Iowa City IA
Oct 24-Saint Louis MO
Oct 25-Louisville KY
Oct 26-Cincy OH
Oct 27-Cleveland OH
Nov 1-Milwaukee WI
Nov 2-Chicago IL
The album is here and ready for you….enjoy!
We are excited to announce the official release of our latest album
“Red-Winged Blackbird Man” due out in stores Sep 3rd 2013!!!
We set out for 5 days of recording in Iowa City with Grammy nominated producer Bo Ramsey, but the team got along famously and completed the new record in 2.5 beautiful days! “The majority of our experience as a band is playing together live, and we didn’t want the recording process to be any different,” says Mike. “We set the room, took our places, pressed record and came out ahead. I can’t wait for people to share in what happened there”.
For those that have seen the band live since the album’s completion it has been made available at the shows. Sep 3rd marks the official release and moment it will be available to the general public through digital and physical distribution. Spread the word!! Speak of and buy often!!
With the warm weather comes fun, food and music. MM&TU will be playing a collection of festival dates around the midwest as well as a few shows out east and in the country of Texas. See you there!
Check out the tour section for details
We were fortunate to spend the last day of our fall/winter tour for 2012 with Daytrotter. It was new to us but all too familiar at the same time. Load in, set up, press record and play….just with different carpet. It is neat to have had that opportunity at the end of a tour and a year. It is a snapshot of who and where we were at that moment in our lives and career (duh..). We tend to lose track of what we are doing through the constant motion and white noise. So much static can become silence if you let it. This was/is an opportunity for us to breath and reflect, refine and set the next course. It is all too easy to hit the grind and forget the soil your standing on, and in a certain way loose your sense of self. This was special for us and we really want to thank daytrotter for the opportunity, their hospitality and work ethic. “But hey…enough of my yakkin, what do ya say…lets boggie”
OK the last one is a lie, its the same ole 6 members. But in this age of rapid media bombardment you have to SHOCK and grab attention. Frankly, we didn’t feel the first two cut the mustard. However, they SHOULD because its true and its awesome! MM&TU are adding new dates for the spring and summer. The band will be incredibly busy the next couple of months. A couple of these dates will be house concerts. People are starting to ask the band to play in their homes!! After playing a couple of these the band has fallen in love with the concept. If your interested in hosting or want the details for one in your area email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line House Concert.
Check out the Tour section to see whats coming!
Stay close, look around, see a show, come often.
The band will be heading to Toronto for the Folk Alliance International conference this week. If you are as well, stop by one of the many showcases we will be performing at. A list of where and when is below as well as on our tour page. Say hello and hang with us!!
The wonderful people at Dittytv.com in sunny Memphis, TN hosted the band a couple of months ago. If you were not able to join us, no worries. Sit back and allow us to entertain you right now, right here. Enjoy! CLICK—-> Mike Mangione & The Union at Dittytv Memphis
we are finishing up our fall tour and boy are we tired. Thank you to those who came out to support us we had a blast and hope to see you in the spring. Our plan is to release “Red-winged Blackbird Man” next year and tour like crazy…won’t you join us?
If you are not on our email list you may join it here…just look to the right–>
Members receive a monthly newsletter with a free download or video, an editorial by one of the band mates, tidbits and a list of upcoming dates.
Also, if you have not “liked” our facebook pages or followed us on the twitter machine please do so as well. It will make your days more enjoyable.
We love you, we thank you, we can not do this without you! Please be safe this season and meet us in the spring.
Love and hugs
Mike & The Union
As 2012 winds down, we find ourselves in the unique position of being nominated for awards and accolades for a release that technically hasn’t even come out yet. But don’t let that stop you from voting!
Mike Mangione and the Union are nominated for:
Album of the Year – Red-winged Blackbird Man
Song of the Year – American Martyr
Catchiest Song of the Year – American Martyr
Music Video of the Year – You Don’t Wanna Leave
and Best Live Show
Vote now at RadioMilwaukee.org Listener Poll
We are on the road starting……NOW!
A couple of radio appearances that everyone can enjoy.
WGN radio Thurs Oct 4th at 9pm with Brian Noonan.
Video/audio recap available here: Mike Mangione & The Union on WGN Radio – Brian Noonan show.
Then, listen to Mike talk about the up-coming album and play new tracks with Milwaukee Public Radio’s Bruce Winter Friday night, Oct 5th, at 7pm online.
Listen to a recap of the radio interview here” Mike Mangione Interview – Bruce Winter chats with Mike Mangione.
The band kicks off its Midwestern and Eastern tour in Chicago Friday Oct 5th at Fitzgeralds Night Club, then Saturday in Milwaukee at Linnemans Riverwest Inn. Check the tour section for more info.
PLEASE SEND YOUR SET LIST REQUESTS TO email@example.com
Well, all our summer touring is finished and now it’s time to really get to work. I’m talking about getting’ hitched and having babies of course! The Union is taking this month off due to Kristina getting married and Patrick and his wife having another baby. But once all the hard work is over we return full force in October to having fun and playing music, and we hope to see you all on the road. Check out our massive fall tour schedule!!! Yikes!
Often times before a performance the band meets and has a “moment.” The idea is to ground ourselves in the task at hand so that we can attempt to enter fully into it. One of the most impactful and effective points of reflection for us is the reality that our shows are numbered. We often lose ourselves in the thought that there will always be another gig around the corner and, although this establishes a healthy connection to the performance, it is not totally true. Each performance has a number and that number is waning.
Each performance is also the direct result of the show before it. We carry with us the weight of the last show, the last year, the last five years, the last 10 to 25 and so on. So much time and expense has gotten us to that moment. Seen in light of this reality we understand that each show is “expensive” and not to be wasted! Every show carries with it the many years that each member painfully learned their instrument, sacrificed other wants in pursuit of their musical identity. Many hours, nights, days, weeks away from family, loved ones, special events and celebrations. As if that is not sobering enough, there is the reality that each yell or scream from my vocal chords depletes the voice changing the tonal quality never to be the same again! There is a weight in every performance that cannot be ignored and must be respected.
On March 13, 2012, I had the privilege of seeing one of my musical heroes in concert: Mr. Levon Helm. I was in musical bliss as I watched him play, pushing out each snare drum whack with a thrust of his shoulder, a concerned, furrowed brow followed by a small wicked grin. His body made visible the invisible ingredients of every musical master: joy and suffering. Joy and suffering are two sides of the same coin. The inescapable cross of every artist that burns, yet refines, the artist to a greater quality. Levon possessed these two ingredients and they were beautifully visible that night.
As I stood watching the last song I questioned how I became so lucky, so fortunate to be in the presence of such net worth. For 54 years Levon stepped on stage using his body to reveal his soul. He missed time with his family, broke relationships, lost friends, band members died, battled his dreams through reality, battled cancer and even lost his voice never to be the same again. His life was expensive. Not many can handle that weight, most would crumble under its pressure and most do. That night in March, for an hour and a half, I reaped the benefits of his investment.
As I watched the last song, my eyes welling with tears, I noticed one more thing. Standing next to Levon was his daughter and band mate, Amy. He wasn’t playing for me, he was playing with his daughter. As father and daughter they were having a moment. Creating a memory together in the twilight years of his amazing life. Because I have a two year-old girl at home this hit me the heaviest. How unworthy am I to be in this audience, to be sharing this moment? The weight kicked the air out of my lungs and left me with nothing but a muttering “thank you.” Thank you for your gift, your example, your time. Thank you for your investment, your commitment, your suffering and allowing me to experience a glimmer of the fruits. Thank you.
Levon died 37 days and 7 shows later surrounded by his family.
(an editorial from our newsletter, to subscribe join email list to the right)
Although the visit was short, and the show was shorter, we managed to do something that had a chance to last. For 30 minutes we meet in a storage warehouse above a hat store and filmed three songs with our friends OurvVinyl.com. Two new and one old. Both beautiful and fulfilling in a simple half hour time. My only regret is passing that black fedora on the way out…. Enjoy!
Another creation by artist and dear friend David Leiberg for one of our favorites from Tenebrae (2008)
Join Mike Mangione & the Union at Chicago For the Kids 2012
Every year, Penn State hosts a Dance Marathon (aka THON), where students dance for 48 hours straight to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund, which provides the financial support for children with cancer at the Hershey Medical Center. The Penn State Chicago Chapter Alum are hosting a fundraiser called Chicago For the Kids where Mike Mangione & the Union will play live music. Anthony Adams, the defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears and Penn State grad, will also make an appearance!
When: Saturday, February 11th 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Where: Cubby Bear 1059 W. Addison
Cost: $40 per person, buy your tickets at www.psuchicago.org
Details: Enjoy a variety of call brands, beer, house wine, soda, and appetizers. 60 parking spaces are available on a first come & first serve basis.
In addition, there will be a silent auction and a raffle where all proceeds will be donated to THON. Featured prizes are Penn State Football tickets and memorabilia, tickets to Chicago pro sporting events, restaurant gift certificates, local entertainment packages, and more!
Contact Kathleen Weber, Penn State Chicago Service Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR THE KIDS!!!
You can catch the band playing on TV TWICE tomorrow to promote their Milwaukee and Chicago shows this weekend.
For those in Southeastern WI, parts of the band will be on NBC The Morning Blend Ch 4 at 9am. For those outside of Wisconsin, the show will be posted on their website after if you are interested in viewing it at http://www.themorningblend.com/
The band will also be on Chicago’s WGN tomorrow at 12:00pm CST. If you have cable YOU CAN SEE IT! Or you can see it online at http://www.wgntv.com/news/liveperformances/
Or if you want to just see them live come to
Jan 19th SPACE in Evanston
Jan 20th Linnemans in Milwaukee
Tickets can be purchased on the tour page!
Yes….it is… MM&TU head out.. oh, yea, by the way this year we refer to Mike Mangione & The Union as MM&TU..its faster and a WHOLE lot cooler. MM&TU had their time off, drank their coco (although winter still has not hit the Midwest..), opened their gifts, gained their pounds, fell in love/out of love and back in love with their families and now its time to share what they have learned with you. The band hits the road this Friday with a show in Excelsior, MN and then Eau Clair… both known for their beaches and tropical climate. Then they play some hometown love shows in Chicago and Milwaukee…and Cedar Rapids and Dekalb…and.just check out the tour section.
See you on the road!
XOXO MM&TU HQ
As I sit in my new place of residence, i won’t say where it is but I will say it rhymes with the state of Risconsin.. I think of all that’s going on and all that we have done. We have done a lot, I feel it, my family feels it..and my bandmates and band mates families feel it too…. But with what we have going on…oh man….look out……the next album is sounding great, I am really excited about the new Newsletters we just sent and our live shows are becoming more of a family affair than concert… what else would we want. Besides the obvious hundred thousand more albums sold, new amp, chickles, and cozy corner BBQ..i dont know! Please stay with us and we wont let you down..let us know what you need and we will do our best. until then, its just a pleasure.