U.S. TOUR BEGINS IN OCTOBER Her AmericanaFest show acclaimed as one of the week’s highlights, Barnett prepares to take new music on the road.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mandy Barnett laughs when she’s asked “What took you so long?” to make Strange Conversation, her progressive take on the postmodern American songbook. It was released todaySeptember 21, 2018, on Dame Productions via Thirty Tigers

Sure, she’s a classicist who’s channeled Patsy Cline in a theatrical musical, recorded classic country songs with legendary producer Owen Bradley, and transfixed known musicos Seymour Stein, Arif Mardin and Ahmet Ertegun with her timeless stylings. But Barnett, who signed her first major label deal at age 12, decided she needed a change.

“I needed to cleanse my palette,” explains the woman with a voice that’s all sultry velour. “I’m a torch singer, somebody who can do a little bit of everything. Pop, blues, gospel, country, soul — songs with emotion are what I do.” And so, she had to decide what to do next. While musical soul-searching, Barnett honed her symphony show (performing with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast) and even reached back to an old passion — visual art — to get her creative juices flowing in a fresh direction. In between touring performing art centers, historic theaters and concert halls, and making gallery-exhibited artwork, Barnett embraced thoughts of finding different material to record.


She pauses for a moment, weighing the jolt to longtime fans versus the reality of her new music. “But honestly, it’s all me,” says Barnett.  “It’s all aspects of who I am.”  Because for Barnett, a singer who’s captivated Owen Bradley, the idea of her musical future is as compelling as the idea of honoring classic country’s past.

“The truth is every album I’ve made has been Americana, even that first Asylum album with the Jim Lauderdale songs, but the arrangements were more timeless, more to the classic songbook. And Americana’s a broad genre that has elements of pop and retro, soul music. So this time, I leaned away from what people expect from me — and into things that made me reach, and stretch.”

Produced by Marco Giovino and Doug Lancio for Thirty Tigers and Barnett’s own label Dame Productions, Strange Conversation places the vocalist between obscure vintage pop and modern progressive songwriting. Think Lee Hazlewood and The Tams meet Tom Waits and Greg Garing with a little Mable John thrown in. If it sounds too good to be true, Hazlewood’s “The Fool,” the Tams’ “It’s All Right (You’re Just in Love),” Waits’ “”Puttin’ on the Dog” and Garing’s “Dream Too Real to Hold” are all part of the conversation, a musky brew of desire, rapture, and discovery.

Mandy Barnett will take the road next month, with these early dates confirmed:

Wed., Oct. 17  HAZELTON, PA   Greater Hazelton Concert Series
Thurs., Oct. 18  WASHINGTON, D.C.   DC City Winery
Sun., Oct. 21   SELLERSVILLE, PA  Sellersville Theater
Sat., Nov. 3   CADDO MILLS, TX   Bob Wills Fiddle Fest
Fri., Nov. 9    SAINT MARYS, OH   Bearcreek Memories Concert Series

GGM Staff


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.