Back in the 90’s I produced the only country album I did in my career on a very young girl named Mandy Barnett. In the Superlatives section of my book I called her out as, “Best Singer Not Enough People Know About: Mandy Barnett–one of the best singers I ever put a microphone in front of!” That is in no way an exaggeration. A new record label, Melody Place Records, headed by veteran producer Fred Molin has had the good sense to sign Mandy in hopes of making more people aware of her.
Melody Place has made two very different albums with Mandy, and both will be released this year. Soon to be released is A Nashville Songbook. This is an album Mandy has wanted to make for some time, and she describes it as the tried and true classics that made Nashville, Music City. The first single from the album is the 60’s Skeeter Davis hit, “End of the World,” which is making noise at country radio, and additionally in England.
The second album (which was actually recorded first), is a collection of American Songbook torch songs. About 20 years ago, famed Nashville guitarist Harold Bradley gave Mandy Billie Holiday’s last (and arguably best) album, Lady in Satin. He told her she should do an album like it someday, and thankfully someday has come, and in a huge way! This one is also produced by Fred Molin, who provided a stroke of genius by having Sammy Nestico arrange the songs. Sammy is an ‘old school’ arranger. How old? He just turned 96! He started his career arranging for Count Basie and went on to work with many of the best singers including Sarah Vaughn, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand … and now, Mandy. I recorded the album at Oceanway Nashville, with a 55 piece orchestra and Mandy singing live. From one great song to the next, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing … absolutely gorgeous arrangements with magnificent vocals. My elation continued as I mixed each song at my mix room, Schnaze. Along with the Feinstein album, this is another one of the best albums I’ve heard - let alone worked on - in the last ten years. I can’t wait for the world to hear In Satin this fall when it’s released.