Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell is appearing live tonight at 8 PM at Yoshi’s San Francisco on a double bill with Gabriel Kahane. Click the bottom link for info on the show. Eleni had a few minutes to speak about this and related things.
CM: Please talk about this gig with Gabriel Kahane.
Eleni: I was contacted by Lara Downes, and I hadn’t heard of Gabriel before, but I was really impressed with what I’d heard! I love playing live, going to San Francisco and getting to see people up there and play a show. I feel a little rusty right now, I did a lot of touring last year, but not much this year, so it will be fun!
CM: It’s great to see that one of your biggest influences is Tom Waits.
Eleni: Yes, for me, having him as an influence was a really good thing. There weren’t a lot of female singers that I wanted to emulate, and I did want to sound like him, but I couldn’t, but it’s sort of great to reach for something and then end up just becoming who I am, so, it worked out having him as an influence because he’s such a great songwriter, and really one of the best performers you could ever see live.
Eleni Mandell ~ “Magic Summertime” Official Video
CM: I would say you come very close to that good in terms of songwriting. I always like to hear the alt-country or alt-folk, and that’s one of my favorite things about your music.
Eleni: I’m definitely influenced by old-time country music, amongst many other things, but that’s definitely a favorite of mine.
CM: I know it sounds ridiculous, but the sound of pedal-steel guitar just does something to me.
Eleni: That doesn’t sound ridiculous, I think a lot of people agree with that!
CM: Then I’m in good company! [laughs]
Eleni: Yeah, honestly it’s a very special instrument!
CM: It sort of has the equivalent of a musical sigh.
Eleni: Yeah, very true!
CM: You also have a new recording coming out?
Eleni: I’m super, super excited about it, maybe moreso than any other record, but I guess it’s hard to remember..[laughs] but I recorded it in London with a new group of people. I got to open for Nick Lowe last year, and on that tour, I met his producer, Neil Brockbank, so I got him to produce this record, and I also recorded it with Nick Lowe’s regular band. These guys are so incredible to work with. I think it’s the greatest record I’ve ever done, and I’m just real excited to share it with people. And this comes out January 28th, 2014! Mark your calendars!
Eleni Mandell ~ Just Another Lonely Heart