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”
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!!
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)
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!!!
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.
Mike Mangione & The Union officially announces Hannah DeVoe probably one of their new favorite fans.
This is true..!