Mandy Barnett takes America in her voice. Watching it live is a trip to the most recondite places of American culture. We have come to the United States to live trips of that type in which the journey begins in the Country and strolls through blues, rock, rockabilly or pop. In Mandy’s songs hide that wild route and a Patsy Cline hidden in the same hypnotic voice.
Mandy visited Austin on January 16 and we don’t doubt it. Nashville sent us one of its brightest daughters and the adventure promised. The One World Theater was our destination, a crossroads of music that we reached by a sinuous road traveled by many legendary genres that hatch in Mandy Barnett.
A route through Mandy Barnett’s America
A vital journey lies behind these musical trips. Mandy was born in Tennessee. It could not be anywhere else in the world. Her voice tattooed since childhood by the fascinating influences that were around her soon began to make noise.
She began her journey through the most fascinating America invoking Patsy Cline on the show Always … Patsy Cline and that fascinating voice built bridges in time that soon took her away. The sold out and critics were so striking that Asylum Records signed it as a sure bet to update the Country with a versatile singer in which all the genres most identified with North America flow.
Seymour Stein knows how to recognize young talent. With him, they achieved their first contract: Madonna, Seal and k.d. lang. Seymour understood the possibilities of Mandy Barnett instantly and a special connection emerged between them. The project was a posthumous legacy of Seymour after having worked with Ernest Tubb, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline or Kitty Wells.
After the tremendous I’ve Got A Right To Cry, her second album, the media hallucinated with the new face of Nashville that began to dazzle in 1999.
From that moment, she began to travel the American roads taking away that Nashville that is only in her mouth. Occasionally, she returned to Always … Patsy Cline, the musical where only she is able to revive the legend.
Exploring America’s Music
After a few years without recording, this year we find that sophisticated Strange Conversations, a conversation between Mandy and America, its roots, its illusions and its beauty locked in ideal songs to explore a gigantic country.
On January 16, our journey began parallel to Mandy’s. We were both looking for that Nashville lost in time that few voices are capable of recreating and updating. The One World Theater was the Mecca for one night of that magical and mythological place called Nashville. Its Kitsch decoration gave it a special charm, from totally authentic experience.
Perhaps for the locals this type of experience is something conventional, for Showmoon it was simply fascinating. It blew me away. In Europe a meeting with Nashville would be a trendy event. In Austin our presence was a generational transgression.
The night was filled with personified charms in a Mandy that illuminated the stage with a smile only overshadowed by her voice. Close your eyes and travel to Nashville, that was the gift that held that fascinating and surreal evening. All seated before this great voice we traveled by secondary road avoiding mainstream freeways and giving us the pleasure to stop the time in gas stations with aroma to Country.
A Night to Remember
Ahead we paraded jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly and country united around the voice of Mandy. Behind her, Patsy Cline always appears, although at the One World Theater there was also time to wink at Willie Nelson and of course an exquisite review of her new Strange Conversations.
Songs like Cowboys Work seem to be taken from a Texan meadow but in Mandy Barnett they are just one more stop in her trip through America. All Night is another of the hidden gems in that Strange Conversations that left us dreaming with Tennessee.
My World Keeps Slipping Away is a beautiful metaphor of our lives. Escaping to a place called future that is the most peaceful for sure. And on that route, there will always be a Mandy Barnett putting the soundtrack to our unique experiences.
Crazy or Stupid Cupid are some of the songs that Mandy does not steal from Patsy but rather borrows them to rescue the unmistakable scent of nostalgia. Many of those present could see Patsy live with that aura of misfortune and endless talent that always accompanied her. For that reason, it might seem like a walk in the past.
But in our case, it is an indeterminate journey to a timeless place. Good music has no age and despite the fact that in the One World Theater our generation forgot to meet it, Showmoon represented it to claim that generational transgression. A night like that is hard to forget.
I imagine that in her multiple European tours, she meets the typical heterodox public so common in Europe, where swarming hipsters, nostalgic, pin-ups or rockers. But none of them could imagine how fascinating it is to enjoy Mandy on her route through America, a country whose musical map springs from her infinite voice.
Travel with her in search of her Nashville, the brightest and most fascinating place you will ever find. Welcome to musical El Dorado. The search is over.