Catch Mike solo

Over the next couple of months mike will play a couple solo shows through out the country. Check the tour section for details. Email mangionemusic@gmail.com to book a show with mike.

Holiday Sale! 20% off all product. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Need a gift idea? How about Mike Mangione music at 20% off?! Only a few days left of the holiday sale!

Click on the link and use the promo code HOLIDAY

Fall Tour Begins

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 3-NYC


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

Order the new record “Red-winged Blackbird Man” now!

The album is here and ready for you….enjoy!

Follow this link to order the record! Red-winged cover official  copy


Daytrotter Released

Daytrotter Image

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”


On The Road With Tom

This is the editorial from our March newsletter written by our guitarist, Tom. Do you like this? Then sign up for our monthly newsletters to the right——>

On the road with Tom

It’s a funny thing to have six people in a car, day after day, heading to a new town and to another show. What a weird existence! Often we are in that car for hours on end, traveling cursively through space and time, going nowhere in the end because we always end up in the same place we started – home. To pass the time on our journeys, we don’t all talk as a group (mostly). Instead, we have fallen into our own solitary habits. I would love it if someone could travel with us for a time, as a passive observer, noticing our activities while we travel the endless road. That person will see the same things over and again: Patrick is reading a book (a thousand-page brick of a book, nonetheless), Kristina and Mike are sleeping (ofttimes for the entirety of the trip), John is

driving while musing on the topics of politics, philosophy, and music, and at the same time Nez is navigating while playing the part of devil’s advocate, keeping John in check and his feet on the ground (the two often remind me of Socrates and his students discussing the same eternal topics in the agoras of Athens). As for me, you will usually find me quietly looking out the window, taking in the sights and deep inside the cavities of my mind … pondering, ruminating, and talking to myself (in my head, of course).

If I may, I’d like to share one of my thoughts on the topic of music. I hope it is not overly tedious. Please bear with me.

The etymology of the word “music” comes from the Greek for “muse” (i.e. Μοῦσα – Mousa). You can see the connection, and interestingly, the same root also flowered into the word “museum,” the treasure trove of the arts. The muse – sometimes evoked in plural form but essentially one entity – was the goddesses of inspiration and the purveyor, through the vehicle of the artist, of art itself. Throughout ancient times the muse was evoked before a recitation. Homer, for example, began his great works by calling on the muse to inspire him and to lift his words heavenward. But what’s more, music (along with the lyric) was seen as the highest form of art: that which can provide momentary manifestation of the ineffable; that which can make the inaudible, audible – the invisible, visible, however fleeting. Music, of course, does not take physical shape. It is the only art form that is invisible … not seen but heard and internalized. It is an inhalation and exaltation.

But alas, back to the specifics of music. I remember reading an interview with Bjork, the Icelandic singer, almost 15 years ago. It was fascinating. She mentioned that she continues to write song after song because she is forever in search of the perfect song … an elusive pursuit perhaps. She will never stop, she said. I identified with this. I think the same can be said of all musicians and songwriters. Our songs are never perfect; they seem unable to communicate exactly what we are feeling. We try. We fail. But we get back on the proverbial horse. The question is: is this search for perfection possible in an imperfect world? For some sort of answer, I refer back to ancient Greece, to the reticent poet and artist, Plato. Plato argued that not even a true circle is possible in this world. Though one might try, the imperfections inherent in all surfaces prohibits such a feat. Think of a piece of paper and all is crests and troughs. You might try to make a circle, but in some way, however small, it is not perfect. It is a distortion. To be sure, a perfect circle exists, yet only in another world – the eternal realm of forms. Yet, at the same time, we have in our head an idea of the form, the thing in itself, even though it is not tenable in our world. Thus, worldly circles only inspire. They stand in as an understudy of the thing in itself. Our circles here on Earth, for example, partake in the idea of “circleness.” They are close replicas but not the thing in itself. As such, Bjork embarks on a noble pursuit chasing the perfect song. To do this, she chases the very notion of perfection, that is, perfection in itself. While we know this is impossible, the pursuit itself may partake of remarkable features on their own. She fails, as all creators and artists do, but the search makes manifest things like faith, love, and hope – however fleeting. At best the audience connects with the emotions conveyed and tentatively grasps the artist’s intention. Yet, it is not the perfect song. Get back on that horse. So, the muse is not obtainable in this world. She is there only to inspire, to breath in and inflame. There are good songs and there are better songs. She holds her hand out when coaxed by the latter, a more-perfect melody. Our goal is to grasp her. As a creator myself I also chase the perfect song … and the muse.

At last, I await to see her, to greet her where she is. When I do find the muse, a pursuit unto death, I hope she will sing for me the perfect song. I will then get off the horse and pause in my tracks.

Folk Alliance International: Mike Mangione & The Union in Toronto


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!!

FAI Handbill

Fall Tour Has Begun!

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.


Sept Sleep…Oct Birth

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!

The Weight

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)

New video for “Woman In Gown” by artist David Leiberg

Do you want to help raise money for pediatric cancer?

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, kathleen.weber80@gmail.com


Theres a New Newsletter in Town…

thats right…

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..!


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