When Mike Mangione approached producer Bo Ramsey, he mentioned that he and his 5-piece band, The Union, spent 2 weeks making "Offering," the follow-up to their lush and much lauded debut album, "Tenebrae." “What the hell did you do for two weeks!” asked Ramsey, adding Greg Brown’s album was cut in 3 days. Mangione and band rose to the challenge, finishing their newest record in only 2 ½ days. A listen to the first cut from "Red-Winged Blackbird Man," it’s hard to believe a record so seemingly complex was laid down so quickly. Out September 3, 2013, it is the fourth for Mangione and third with The Union, an orchestral folk-rock outfit with a variety of strings, electric guitars and drums. The songs fit under the wide genre of Americana in general, and pull from the traditions of contemporary folk, singer-songwriter, early country, and blues in particular.
“Bo’s brilliance is in his ability to get tone and vibe right away. It came so naturally and allowed us to enter into the performance at the first press of ‘record,’” said Mangione.
"Time Out Chicago" has aptly described Mike Mangione & The Union as, “a more atmospheric take on folk-rock.” Their first album, "Tenebrae" (2008), was warmly received in the press. "All Music Guide" selected their work as an “Album Pick," "New York Magazine" spotlighted the band, while "Blurt Magazine" referred to the “tear-stained folk, Memphis-styled gospel and bluesy-flavored pop” as “luminous.” In 2010 they released "Offering" on their own imprint, RODZINKA Records, with sync and digital licensing by DUALTONE Records. They average 100+ dates yearly and have toured as far as Asia, Europe, and Canada.
Mangione started solo, with electric guitar accompaniment from brother Tom before starting a search to develop the band, adding in time: John Collins on upright and electric bass, Patrick Hoctor on cello and vocals, Kristina Priceman on violin and vocals, and Nez on drums and percussion.
"When I first saw Mike Mangione & The Union I thought this is a real band... unique and dynamic!" - Bo Ramsey
Mike Mangione & The Union will be touring all summer and into the fall release with dates in Wisconsin, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Colorado, New York and more.
“Mike and his superb band aren't afraid to take a chance when it comes to presenting ‘something new…’ Through interesting instrumentation, arrangements and emotional songwriting, Mike and company sing and play with all the fire, wit and charm that will leave any listener wanting to hear more.” - Victor Delorenzo, Violent Femmes