Listen to Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen
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  • Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
    Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen
    Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen -- Friday, September 12, at 7:30 PM
    by J.C. Honeycutt

    On Friday, September 12, 2008 at 7:30 PM, The Charlotte Folk Society proudly presents Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen in concert at our monthly Gathering at the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in downtown Charlotte (map here). Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free; donations are greatly appreciated. Refreshments, a song circle, and slow and fast jams will follow the concert. The Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club will also meet afterwards. Visitor parking is available next to the Stella Center any time; free parking is available after 7 PM in an adjacent deck, as well.

    Steve and Cindy have a long and storied history as songwriters and performers. Steve Gillette cut his first record (not surprisingly called Steve Gillette) on the Vanguard label in 1968; it featured his classic song, Darcy Farrow, which had been a huge hit for Ian and Sylvia in 1966 and has been covered by over 100 artists since that time. Steve is known best as a songwriter, and no wonder his songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, John Denver, Carolyn Hester, Nanci Griffith, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Anne Murray, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Spanky and Our Gang, Don Williams, Tammy Wynette, The Country Gentlemen, The Bluegrass Cardinals, George Hamilton IV, and many others (including Disney characters Jiminy Cricket and Dumbo!). He has also performed and/or collaborated with Graham Nash, Jennifer Warnes, Jim Rooney, Roy Huskey, Jr., and Mark Schatz, among others. His CD Texas and Tennessee was named one of the ten best folk recordings of 1998 by Pulse magazine. Steve is the author of Songwriting and the Creative Process, one of the best-reviewed and most popular books for songwriters; he has also published The Steve Gillette Songbook and How to Play Guitar Like I Do, an instructional CD, and is working on The Code: Surviving and Thriving as an Independent Artist, excerpts from which are available on Steve and Cindy's website.
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    Cindy Mangsen began performing professionally in 1976 and was quickly in demand not only for her solo performances but also as a backup singer: you can hear her singing harmony on several of Tom Paxton's recordings. She also plays guitar, banjo, concertina, and mountain dulcimer and has a wonderful repertoire of songs. Cindy has toured and recorded since the 1990s with Priscilla Herdman and Anne Hills as the trio Herdman, Hills and Mangsen. Their exquisite three-party harmonies prompted the Hartford Advocate to call their collaboration "a clinic in harmony . . . well conceived, neatly crafted and expertly performed." She recorded the duet album Never Grow Old with Anne Hills; this CD, a collection of traditional songs, included guest performances by such artists as Gordon Bok, John Hartford, Laurie Lewis, and Tom Paxton and was nominated for an NAIRD award. The companion album, Never Grow Up, designed for families and children, won a Parents Choice Award and was praised by Sing Out! Magazine as "the perfect modern folk recording." Cindy and Steve Gillette married in 1986. Their most recent recording collaboration, Being There, features their own compositions as well as songs by comic favorites Lou and Peter Berryman, some traditional tunes, and a co-write by Cindy with Rudyard Kipling (!). They also recently recorded an outstanding quartet album of story songs, Fourfold, with Anne Hills and Michael Smith. And we would be remiss not to mention Cindy's CD Cat Tales, featuring ten great songs about cats by such outstanding writers as Cheryl Wheeler, Buddy Mondlock, and Nancy White.

    Steve and Cindy are staples of the festival circuit, as well as appearing frequently on public radio and TV. When they're not touring and recording, they're at home in Vermont -- apparently thinking about what to do next, given their output. For more information, including a catalog of twenty of their CDs, three books, a list of folk resources, and some of their favorite jokes, go to http://www.compassrosemusic.com.

    Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, through a Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.