Website: Mike Mangione & The Union
Mike Mangione & The Union is a touring group that combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility. The band’s previous album, Tenebrae, has received favorable press from all corners of the country, including the honor of being an All Music Guide Album Pick, while Blurt refers to their “tearstained folk, Memphis-styled gospel and bluesy-flavored pop” as “luminous.”
I first encountered Mike Mangione & The Union by attending one of the band’s live concerts a year ago at the 318 Cafe in Excelsior, Minnesota (my hometown). In this intimate venue, I was drawn in by their energetic performance and thoughtful lyrics. Watching them play, I marveled at the way that this band—made up of diverse personalities—coheres into a sound so finely-tuned as to resemble one voice. For these artists, music is not so much a performance as a generosity.
The band recently teamed up with Christopher West for a tour called Fill These Hearts, exploring the themes of the Theology of the Body through a blend of talks and musical performance.