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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

My Babe - Manda Mosher

Not many can claim they are a sixth generation Californian, let alone Angeleno. Manda Mosher can. Still what does that mean? It’s not as easily defined as saying you are a sixth generation New Yorker, or Bostonian for that matter. Manda’s first ancestor to settle in the region came to Downtown Los Angeles in the 1800’s from Delhi, New York after the Civil War; additional family followed establishing a chicken farm in the Valley in 1911. Manda Mosher grew up in the town of La Crescenta, just outside of Los Angeles. A sleepy and secluded community located at the foot of the mountains just North of Pasadena. Close enough to the city of angels that Manda was well versed in the Hollywood music scene, but just far enough away that she could peek over the fence and gaze upon it from a safe distance. The title track of Manda’s last EP release “City of Clowns” was written about her relationship with Los Angeles, which she describes as a love/hate sort of affair, as depicted in the song. Although the lyrics can relate to any city to some degree, Manda admits she has often thought of leaving Los Angeles, but it is her family that has continued to keep her here. “I’ve always felt sadness for this town. I’ve watched all these people come and go, taking what they can, getting famous, getting rich, with little regard for the community and the people that call it home. On the other hand the opportunities are endless here.” Manda grew up in a musical household, picking up her grandfather’s Gibson ukulele at the age of five. Her father played flamenco guitar and her mother sang, so music was an integral part of her daily family life. Learning her father’s flamenco tunes from memory, she quickly developed her ear and interest in music. Intently studying her parent’s musical library, Manda spent many an afternoon lying on the floor reading Neil Young liner notes with her ear to the stereo speakers listening to the likes of Bob Dylan, The Doors, The Beatles and Leo Kottke. Writing and singing would prove to be a more natural form of communication than talking for Manda. Often feeling tongue-tied, “I found I would leave encounters thinking ‘I wish I would have said…’ and this would give me the impetus to sit down and compile my thoughts along with images and poetry and set it to song. This was and still is my most powerful form of communication,” Manda explains. After high school, Manda sought to leave the distractions she found in Los Angeles behind to find a serious place for her to study music. Seeking out like-minded musicians to play with, she enrolled in Boston’s Berklee School of Music. There she would hone her talents playing guitar and piano, learning theory and reading and writing music. Manda returned to Los Angeles after graduation, the pull of her family and the city brought her home. However she soon learned that touring could also provide a good escape from Los Angeles when she needed. ‘The best part of touring is getting out to realize how big the world is while making new connections with people you may never have met otherwise. Being on the road naturally puts miles between you and everything at home, bringing with it a new freedom that allows you to break your everyday routine and just live in the moment.” Manda’s EP City of Clowns is the follow up to her critically acclaimed debut album on Red Parlor Records, Everything You Need of which All Access Magazine remarked, “This hurricane blows you away with her mighty skills on harmonica, her magnificently haunting alto and inspired songwriting.” Along with the original title song, “The Only One” is a straight up love song that reflects that desire to be the only true love in your partner’s life. “State Trooper” is a Bruce Springsteen song from the Nebraska album that Manda expresses she has “always felt a connection to lyrically and the melodic sense of isolation and running from imminent capture.” After playing the song live, Manda decided to record it for the EP on which she wanted to take a more stripped down authentic approach to recording and production. She aimed to reproduce what the band sounds like playing live, without the slick bells and whistles, again attempting to leave Hollywood behind. Searching for that sense of community, that realness that is often elusive in Los Angeles, Manda found it in her label Red Parlor Records whom she signed with in September 2008. It was through her profound love of Chris Whitley’s music that Manda would discover Red Parlor Records, as they were the label to release Chris’ last album Reiter In. Manda organically found a business partner in Red Parlor’s Steven Goff who then led her to meet her manager Gregg Bell. “Having a team on board has been so inspirational to me, to not feel like I am going through this alone all the time,” Manda explains. Last year with the release of her first album on the label Everything You Need, Manda performed on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and opened for and sang with Jackson Browne. “These were childhood dreams come true for me.” In spite of her complicated liaison with Los Angeles, the city has long laid claim to Manda and her talent. She has received multiple Los Angeles Music Awards including “Female Singer-Songwriter of the Year” and “National Touring Artist Of The Year”, has garnered airplay on KCRW and NPR/AAA/Americana stations across the country, and worked for the GRAMMY organization for several years. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

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