Peter Mandic Band
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Peter Mandic Band

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"CD GOES WITH BEER AND BARBECUES"

Colin Hunter
Within earshot
therecord.blogs.com/withinearshot

Imagine you're at a backyard party on a late summer evening. You only know a few people, so you stick closely to your friends, too shy to mingle.

Everyone else does the same, standing around in tight clumps -- not anti-social, just timidly unsocial.

Sensing that the ice needs to be broken, the host of the party -- a retiree with greying hair and a salt-and-pepper beard -- fetches his acoustic guitar.

He plunks a folding chair in the middle of the lawn and starts strumming.

Soon he's joined by a buddy playing mandolin and another slapping out a rhythm on his thighs. They play sparse, pretty folk songs and begin to draw a crowd.

Before long, everyone at the party has gathered around. People sing along with the simple choruses, strangers harmonize with one another. By the end of the night, everyone knows everyone, thanks to the unifying power of the music.

It's an imaginary scenario. But it's the scenario that kept popping into my head as I listened to I Used to Work, the new album by the Fergus-based Peter Mandic Band.

It's backyard music with acoustic tones as warm and soothing as a summer breeze.

Mandic is the grey-haired retiree, an Australian-born folkie who has decided to take a serious stab at songwriting in his golden years.

He recorded his first solo works several years ago while studying music at Humber College, then assembled a troupe of players to form his eponymous band.

The songs are beautifully subtle and understated; a mandolin trills behind a strummed guitar, a harmonica plaintively soars in the background, while the drummer keeps an unobtrusive beat with a brushed snare.

Mandic's singing voice is nothing fancy, nor does it need to be. His tone resides somewhere between Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, but he's not imitating anyone.

Thanks to the bare-bones production of the album (no high-tech overdubbing or effects), the band comes through the speakers the way they would in concert -- or at a backyard party.

It's lovely, back-to-basics music that goes nicely with sunshine, a cold drink and the smell of a barbecue.

Check out the Peter Mandic Band in concert at the Dream Corner B&B in Fergus on Sept. 13, and you'll see what I mean.
chunter@therecord.com

- Guelph Mercury Aug 21, 2008


Discography

EP 2002: "When the Wine Runs the Show"
CD 2004: "Peter Mandic"
CD 2008: "I Used to Work"

Photos

Bio

Peter Mandic started writing songs after a friend suggested he take songwriting at Canada’s music school, Humber College. Ten years later, three CDs, over fifty songs, and a fourth CD on the way, Peter Mandic and his band are having fun. In 2005, Razor Wire from Mandic’s third CD ‘I Used to Work’ was featured throughout an episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate. Inspiration comes from everyday people and events seen through a storyteller’s eyes.

I Used to Work, Peter Mandic Band … acoustic tones as warm and soothing as a summer breeze … the songs are beautifully subtle and understated… Mandic’s singing voice is nothing fancy, nor does it need to be. His tone is somewhere between Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, but he’s not imitating anyone…lovely back-to-basics music that goes nicely with sunshine, a cold drink, and a barbecue.
Colin Hunter, Within Earshot, The Guelph Mercury