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 album is here and ready for you….enjoy!
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
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
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, email@example.com
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
While on tour out east we had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful people from Eartotheground Music. After our show, we sat for ahwile, talked about the band, music and the yearning for this all to make sense. Next thing we know a beautiful write up appears…..thank you Casey
Mike Mangione & The Union are heading east this week for a mini jaunt to some of our favorite places. We would love to spend the night with YOU! Cleveland, Washington DC, Philly and New York City are all on the path. Check our tour section for details.
There is something about traveling so much that makes the most unusual…usual, the uncommon becomes common and the waves become still. I am in Minneapolis getting ready to mix our album and I don’t have a guitar, and I don’t know how to feel about that. I have grown to become comfortable with routine…late nights, late mornings and little sleep, lots of sweat, some music and great conversation. i have grown to become comfortable with discomfort and a simple routine to comply with it. Not having a guitar blindsides me and leaves me to feel a little helpless in this strange arctic city.
…..But why would I expect anything different from this whole experience. When we entered the studio in Iowa City with Bo Ramsey I expected to….maybe get some sounds, plan our approach and track a song or two. I didn’t expect to play through 5 songs, be recording the whole time, loose my sense of the recording process and have someone I respect so much repeat “a take is in the performance not the overdubs”. I have never finished something so fast and felt so comfortable with it in my life. And I see clearly…Comfort lies in the community we build around us and, so far, this album echos that ethos. So, why should I be surprised I am here, vulnerable and naked in this city without my guitar…my support. If there is one thing I have learned in this process its trust the communion…the engagement, not the second guessing… Which is good…because without my guitar before me…ill be a lot closer to the action.