Do you ever come across a singer and find that their voice really ‘fits’ you?
When I was writing my ‘ideal man’ list a couple of decades ago, amongst my top-five requirements was a man who would sing to me. Never imagined that the Universe would send me a professional singer! Music is such an important part of my well-being, and I choose my music carefully.
My life has been blessed with another singer, too, who touches my heart; that of my dear friend, the Irish singer/songwriter, Mandy Bingham. I met Mandy in 2003, long before she became a singer. We were ‘just’ mums of young kids.
You may have read her article about finding creativity as a songwriter/singer in issue 2 of Starflower Living magazine (go here to download your free copy). http://www.starflowerpress.com/living/index.shtml
There is something about Mandy’s voice that reminds me of Alison Krauss: there’s a purity, and an almost angelic essence, that just brings tears to my eyes. And that’s just the sound of it, never mind the actual lyrics. I’ve been so taken with her work that I wrote some of her songs and lyrics into my first novel Mosaic, and my second novel, Bluey’s Café.
Mandy travelled over from Ireland when I launched my novel, and together with her husband Graham, they sang for us at Wordsworth Bookshop.
Imagine my joy when they sang at our Vow Renewal ceremony just over a week ago. What an honour! And as for her daughter, Lola, well all I can is: watch out! That young lady is blessed with those singing genes, too.
The EP (known as volume one) is an eclectic mix. I was thrilled to see The Chicken Song included. This song has a special place in my heart. It is the all-time ‘feel-good’ song. Turn Out the Light is stunning, and gives me goose bumps. So beautiful and moving. If This Is Love breaks my heart, and I doubt there is a person who can’t relate to it in some way. Calm Before the Storm stops you in your tracks. Oblivion introduced me to a different style than I’m used to with Mandy, and I appreciated the variety.
There are six tracks on the EP. If you’re new to Mandy’s music, do get yourself a copy. Friendship aside, I rate this as five stars. I am so thrilled to have her album in my collection.
You can hear quite a few of her songs on Sound Cloud, too. I love the grassroots feel of a living-room recording just as much as the professionally recorded versions. Regardless of the recording, what comes through loud and clear is Mandy’s immense talent. She can not be replicated and that’s the highest praise I can give her.
My experience of listening to Mandy is that her lyrics are honest, and her vocals divine. To say her music is addictive is an understatement. Regardless of how many times I’ve listened to a particular track, I am always deeply moved by the sincerity and depth of meaning ~ something that can only be achieved with life experience. That she has only been singing for about two years is nothing short of a miracle. Where was that voice hiding for so long? She is certainly making up for lost time with a prolific output of quality, first-class music. My favourite songs are: Only a Matter of Time; Turn out The Light; Good Girl Blues; The Chicken Song; Not Your Business. In fairness though, I absolutely adore all of her work. She’s an incredibly talented artist.
I must also mention Mandy’s husband, Graham, who is genuinely one of the nicest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He sings harmonies, and also plays lap steel guitar and acoustic guitar. And he makes dinner when Mandy is too busy writing new songs! Was I allowed to mention that?
My Bucket List includes seeing Mandy Bingham sing at the iconic Bluebird Café in Nashville. I have no doubt in the world that I’ll be ticking that particular item off my list before too long.
Why not sign up to Mandy’s mailing list? She’s bound to be in your area some time in the future, and I promise you this: you will not be disappointed.
Listen to some songs here: http://www.mandybingham.co.uk/#!my-songs/ck0q
You can find Mandy on Facebook here: