Bio

The story of Mike Mangione & The Union (circa 2013)

When Mike Mangione approached producer Bo Ramsey, he mentioned that he and his 5-piece band, The Union, spent 2 weeks making Offering, the follow-up to their lush and much lauded debut album,Tenebrae. “What the hell did you do for two weeks!” asked Ramsey, adding Greg Brown’s album was cut in 3 days. Mangione and band rose to the challenge, finishing their newest record in 2 ½ days. A listen to the first cut from Red-Winged Blackbird Man, it’s hard to believe a record so seemingly complex was laid down so quickly. Out September 3, 2013, it is the fourth for Mangione and third with The Union, an orchestral folk-rock outfit with a variety of strings, electric guitars and drums. The songs fit under the wide genre of Americana in general, and pull from the traditions of contemporary folk, singer-songwriter, early country, and blues in particular.

“Bo’s brilliance is in his ability to get tone and vibe right away. It came so naturally and allowed us to enter into the performance at the first press of ‘record,’” said Mangione.

Time Out Chicago has aptly described Mike Mangione & The Union as, “a more atmospheric take on folk-rock.” Their first album, Tenebrae (2008), was warmly received in the press. All Music Guide selected their work as an “Album Pick,“ New York Magazine spotlighted the band, while Blurt Magazine referred to the “tear-stained folk, Memphis-styled gospel and bluesy-flavored pop” as “luminous.” In 2010 they released Offering on their own imprint, RODZINKA Records, with sync and digital licensing by DUALTONE Records. They average 100+ dates yearly and have toured as far as Asia, Europe, and Canada.

Mangione started solo, with electric guitar accompaniment from brother Tom before starting a search to develop the band, adding in time: John Collins on upright and electric bass, Patrick Hoctor on cello and vocals, Kristina Priceman on violin and vocals, and Nez on drums and percussion.

Learn more about the band on the Band Bios page.

Mike Mangione & The Union is a touring group that combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility. The band’s debut album, Tenebrae, received favorable press from all corners of the country, including the honor of being an All Music Guide Album Pick, while Blurt refers to their “tearstained folk, Memphis-styled gospel and bluesy-flavored pop” as “luminous.” In 2011 they released Offering on their own imprint, RODZINKA Records, with sync and digital licensing by DUALTONE Records. The album and band were nominated for “best of the year” by RadioMilwaukee (88.9 FM), along with receiving other kind and warm accolades. September 3, 2013 they will release yet another album, Red-Winged Blackbird Man, produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown, Iris DeMent).

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