With her recordings and live shows, Nashville musical treasure Mandy Barnett has established herself as one of the great champions of American classic country and pop music. She delves into a song with a keen interpretive sense, striking its emotional core and rendering a powerhouse performance through her “pipes of steel” (Los Angeles Times). As one record executive puts it, “Mandy Barnett is a song’s best friend.”
Barnett first gained national prominence as the original star of the musical Always...Patsy Cline at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium. Barnett, as Cline, appears on the original cast soundtrack album and is the only actress to have played the role on the historic Ryman stage where Cline’s legend began. The Ryman shows sold out nightly and received rave reviews, and Barnett has wowed critics and audiences ever since with her concerts and recordings. Barnett’s critically lauded albums include I’ve Got a Right to Cry, named the “Top Country Album” by Rolling Stone in the year of its release and produced by renowned Nashville Sound pioneer Owen Bradley, who also produced Cline’s most loved chart-toppers (as well as producing Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, and k.d. lang). And Rolling Stone continues to honor this landmark album, placing it in 2019 on two of its lists of seminal classic country works.
With a string of acclaimed country albums (in addition to I’ve Got a Right to Cry), such as her self-titled Warner Bros. debut, her Christmas celebration Winter Wonderland, and I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson (a tribute to her friend, the late Country Music Hall of Fame member), there’s no doubt that frequent Grand Ole Opry performer Barnett has mastered the country genre and holds it dear to her heart. But Barnett is not one to be musically boxed in. The latest addition to Barnett’s discography is her Strange Conversation album, an Americana blend of roots, pop, and R&B tunes that includes a duet with John Hiatt and a soulful rendition of Neil Sedaka’s My World Keeps Slipping Away, which Sedaka himself sent to Barnett to record. AllMusic hails Strange Conversation as the “richest record of her career: surprising, lively, and deeply felt,” and The Philadelphia Inquirer, which listed Strange Conversation among the best country/roots albums of 2018, notes that Barnett “takes a disparate collection of pop, soul, and rock numbers and makes a riveting personal statement.”
As further testament to her diversity, Barnett sang on the SpongeBob SquarePants album The Best Day Ever (sharing the spotlight with the likes of Brian Wilson, Tommy Ramone, and Flaco Jimenez) and often incorporates a Great American Songbook standard or two into her live shows. When asked about her favorite composer, Barnett’s as likely to cite Cole Porter or George Gershwin as she is Willie Nelson or Dolly Parton.
In fact, along the lines of highlighting Barnett’s range, 2019 saw her lush rendition of the 1960s Skeeter Davis country/pop hit “The End Of The World,” followed down the line by an album of torch songs with orchestral arrangements by storied 95 year-old Sammy Nestico (arranger for Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Barbra Streisand, and others) and produced by Fred Mollin (producer for Johnny Mathis, Kris Kristofferson, Jimmy Webb, etc.).
Barnett’s music has been featured in many major film and television soundtracks (most recently, in The CW Network’s series “The Flash”), and she has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “The Late Show,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” PBS’s “Sessions at West 54th,” PBS’s “Bluegrass Underground,” and numerous other programs.
Among the many publications praising Barnett's talents, the Chicago Tribune calls Barnett “a torch singer in the grandest sense of the word.” Other major media have likewise extolled Barnett’s world-class vocals, “natural musicality” (People), “big, silky, expressive voice” (Billboard), and “vocal finesse” (New York Times). USA Today calls Barnett one of Nashville’s “finest classic-country and torch singers,” while the Austin Chronicle notes that “when people start talking about Mandy Barnett, eventually the word ‘amazing’ gets used.”
MANDY BARNETT: THE NASHVILLE SONGBOOK
Recording artist and performer Mandy Barnett, original star of the musical Always… Patsy Cline at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, performs tunes from her Nashville Songbook show. The Nashville Songbook is a collection of standards that made Nashville famous—some of the most influential and iconic country and pop songs ever written, originally recorded by artists as diverse as Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, The Everly Brothers, Tammy Wynette, Elvis, Eddy Arnold, and more. Barnett’s pure, commanding voice and artistry make these songs her very own.
She has toured her eclectic repertoire with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, among other esteemed groups and venues, and has had recordings featured in numerous film and television soundtracks. Barnett recently brought her Nashville Songbook show to Feinstein’s/54 Below in NYC. Spend time with one of Nashville’s “finest classic-country and torch singers” (USA Today) with a show that appeals to music fans of all types—who will undoubtedly want to sing along to some of the best-known classics of all time!
It’s no accident that Mandy Barnett pays tribute to The Nashville Songbook. Barnett has a deep connection to these songs and to the artists who recorded them. Barnett grew up in East Tennessee and came to Nashville frequently as a child and teenager to perform. During that time, she met many legendary country and pop artists and songwriters, who often took Barnett under their wings, appreciating Barnett’s vocal talents and reverence for the material. Barnett is so pleased to have the opportunity to honor these icons with her Nashville Songbook show!
Among the many publications praising Barnett's talents, the Chicago Tribune calls Barnett “a torch singer in the grandest sense of the word.” Other major media have likewise extolled Barnett’s world-class vocals, “natural musicality” (People), “big, silky, expressive voice” (Billboard), and “vocal finesse” (New York Times). The Austin Chronicle notes that “when people start talking about Mandy Barnett, eventually the word ‘amazing’ gets used.