The Mango Men Band
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It's cold outside, but that doesn't mean the fruit isn't growing.


After years of performing covers of songs initially made known by other performers, The Mango Men are, for the first time, working on a CD that the group members wrote and arranged on their own.
It's another step in the forward momentum after winning a Philadelphia-area Next Big Star competition and opening at Lincoln Financial Field for a concert featuring a group of musical heavy hitters.

"We were not allowed to play any cover tunes for that and I think that's probably what we're most proud of, that we were able to get there with our own tunes," said Perkasie resident John Creidler, who with his brother, Rob Creidler, of Trumbauersville, started the Mango Men in 1995.

Most of the songs on "Everyday's a Saturday" have already been recorded at Cambridge Studios in Newtown and the full CD will be ready by the time the six-man musical group hits its busy season of outdoor summer concerts in area parks, but several wintertime shows are also planned to introduce the songs, which include the title track as well as "8 Days in Paradise," "I Need a Place to Go," "Get a Life," "Just another Drunken Tourist (in Key West)," "Follow Your Heart," and several others.

John Creidler's daughter, 11-year-old Sami, sings along on another number, "Summer Sun." Even when the group does cover songs, they do it their way, and although the band's known for its Jimmy Buffett music, the Mango Men have never been a tribute band, John Creidler said. "I think the sound of the CD goes back to the fact that you've got six people with really diverse musical backgrounds, musical tastes and influences," said Joel Chodoroff, of Doylestown, the group's drummer. The diversity also means there's something in their music for everyone, group members said.

Along with opening the Lincoln Financial Field show for Gary Allan, LeAnn Rimes, Sammy Hagar, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney in July 2008, the group also performed that year for the first time at a bar mitzvah.

Upcoming venues for the group, which does about 80 shows a year, include at Jack Frost Lodge in the Poconos, Crossroads Restaurant in Hilltown, The Perk in Perkasie, Indian Creek Foundation's annual Roll & Stroll and appearances in outdoor summer concerts including ones in Perkasie and Franconia.
"Unfortunately, like everybody else's business, we've been affected from the economy a little bit, too, as far as our customers," Rob Creidler said. "Our Christmas parties pretty much shut down this year," John Creidler said.

The music on the CD has mass appeal and includes topics such as going to the beach and having fun, John Creidler said. "All of us are stressing out at work and it's just the way life is right now with layoffs and having to do more jobs," he said. "A lot of the songs we write, some of those songs have to do with sort of getting away and relaxing a little bit, but not all of them."

Videos of some of the songs from live performances are already available on the Internet. "Every song is different," John Creidler said. "I think that's good for a CD. We're trying not to put any fluff at all onto this CD. Every song that we've come up with so far for this, we've sort of thought, 'that's a good song." Chodoroff and keyboardist Mike Gruver, of East Rockhill, each of whom are music teachers, have been a big help in arranging the music, John Creidler said, but the group works together on creating the songs. "There may be one or two people that write the bulk of the words, and even the chords, but the finished product usually comes from all of us," he said.

The original songs aren't necessarily a new sound or change of direction for the group, but are an addition to what already was a distinctive sound, group members said. "The best way to describe it is all the songs are different, but they still sound like us," said guitarist Tom Falcone, of Philadelphia. "It's our own sound. We're not trying to emulate anybody," Gruver said.

"Everyday's a Saturday" was the first of the songs written and comes from Gruver's response to a call from Creidler one day while Gruver was on summer break from his teaching job. "I'm calling from the office and I'm all stressed out and everything and I'm trying to squeak a call in to Mike, 'how you doing, man?' and he goes, 'oh great, man.' He goes 'everyday's a Saturday' cause it was summertime and he had off, so we just kept throwing that around as a joke," John Creidler said. "We started thinking maybe we could come up with a song about that." The result was a song about a person going through a rough week at work and looking forward to an upcoming vacation.

About the same time the group was working on that song and thinking about doing a CD, the Next Big Star contest came along with Kenny Chesney's Poets & Pirates tour. As an entry to the contest, the Mango Men filmed the group's 4th of July show in Skippack, then coupled it with a studio recording of "Every Day's a Saturday," working with only a week to get the job done. "We had to rush it through in order to get it by the deadline. In fact, we hand-delivered it," Rob Creidler said.

After getting the word that they were one of the finalists, the Mango Men and three other groups competed July 18 at the Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia, with the Mango Men coming out on top and chosen to be back at Lincoln Financial Field the following day for 11 a.m. sound checks for the afternoon show. "We didn't get home until three in the morning," Rob Creidler said. "It took me another two hours to fall asleep. I was just wired, [thinking] we're gonna play at the Linc tomorrow," Chodoroff said. "We opened the show at 3:30 in the afternoon and it was about 95 degrees out and we played on the Linc stage for 15 minutes," John Creidler said. "It was exciting," Rob Creidler said. "There was a lot of stuff that we'd never been exposed to before, behind the scenes." The following week, the group again opened a show for Chesney, this time in New Jersey.

While the group has appeared at some of the same summer park concerts for a number of years, there are changes each year so the show doesn't become stagnant, John Creidler said. No one knows where winning the Next Big Star will lead, but it's already been an inspiration that brought on the new CD, he said. The group also recently entered a song-writing contest. "We always try to do something new and this CD's probably going to be the biggest thing for 2009 for us," John Creidler said.
- Perkasie News Herald, Wednesday, 1/7/09


Go to http://www.penseyeview.com/content/mango-men for the entire interview and photos.

Text:

The Mango Men
Submitted by admin on Sun, 08/09/2009 - 17:54. Richie FriemanTodays Feature

After talking with The Mango Men, it makes me sad that we’re already halfway through August! And while I’ll miss the summer time, it’s good to know there’s nearby bands always ready to put your mind in beach mode… especially a band that’s been doing it for so long. The Mango Men’s roots began all the way back in 1995, “based on a love of Jimmy Buffett’s music”, and today continues with a larger band than ever, playing rock, pop and country, led by John Creidler and backed by Mike Gruver (vocals, keyboards), Tom Falcone (electric guitar, vocals), Bobby McGarry (bass guitar) and Joel Chodoroff (drums).



After so many years, the band has finally released a record titled “Everyday’s a Saturday”, a huge accomplishment! We asked Mike how he would describe the band’s latest sound: “Our sound is a cross between rock, pop and summertime music with a hint of rockin’ country. Our musical influences include Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett and any other musician who tells a story with their music.”


Speaking of Chesney and Buffett, these guys have been lucky enough to play with some of their heroes, including Chesney at Lincoln Financial Field, LeAnn Rimes and even with members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. So needless to say, they know how to make you happy during a show. They’re currently competing in Land Shark Lager’s National Battle of the Bands competition, leading their Nashville bracket. Go ahead and keep voting for The Mango Men at www.landsharkrocks.com. There’s much more to learn below, so get into the XXQ’s.

XXQs: The Mango Men Band (Mike)

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How did The Mango Men Band first came together? How have you evolved since your first days together?

Began in 1995 as a duo backed by an electronic bass and drums. When John Creidler (vocals, acoustic guitar) started The Mango Men it was based on his love of Jimmy Buffett’s music and was primarily a tribute band. Over the years the music grew to include more rock, pop and country music. And subsequently the band expanded from a duo to a full band including Mike Gruver (vocals, keyboards), Tom Falcone (electric guitar, vocals), Bobby McGarry (bass guitar) and Joel Chodoroff (drums).

The music we play has progressed tremendously over the past 15 years. We have grown from strictly playing cover tunes to releasing our first all-original album entitled “Everyday’s a Saturday”. Our live shows include a mix of both our original tunes and covers that range from pop & summertime tunes to rock & rockin’ country.

This year we also played our first (but not last) Bar Mitzvah. You can imagine the initial hesitation of the four gentiles in the band, but Joel assured everyone that he could get them through it. In fact, when we got there Joel’s only concern was the industrial high-powered ceiling fans located in the party room. John didn’t understand until he mentioned the whole ‘lifting the kid up on the chair’ thing. Then it all became clear. Luckily the kid was short and there were no scalpel circumcisions. Having two teachers in the band has been extremely helpful for these events. They know how to make it fun for 13-year-olds and get the kids involved with games and activities.

PEV: Hailing from the Philadelphia area, what kind of music where each of the members listening to growing up? Do you guys argue on different kinds of music? What was the first concert you attended?

Most of us grew up fans of rock n’ roll music: Springsteen, Van Halen and of course, Philly’s own The Hooters.

There isn’t a whole lot of arguing among us, although we do differ in our tastes.

Our first concerts were:

Mike: Van Halen and Yes

John: This will show my age – The Beach Boys

Tom: Bruce Springsteen, 1980

Joel: The Spice Girls and Milli Vanilli (pre lip-sync controversy)

Bobby: Bette Midler (Beaches soundtrack era)


PEV: How would you describe the music scene in and around Philly right now?

The current music scene in Philly is a diverse mix of cover bands playing bars on the weekends, original music bands playing eclectic and new music in the center city venues and band’s like The Mango Men who combine original and cover music and spend their summer playing in outdoor venues across the area entertaining a wide range of audiences.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to make music?

We’re all pretty laid back when writing, however, John has some specific needs. First the room must be set at exactly 73.9 degrees Fahrenheit (to this day he still believes the Celsius scale is a myth). Second, he requires three sticks Papaya-Guava incense (Bath and Body Works, of course) burning at all times. Finally, and perhaps the most peculiar, is the room temperature O’Doul’s (served in a vintage 1981 Grimace glace from McDonald’s) he needs to get the creative juices flowing.

Once we got past those prerequisites, it was truly a collaborative effort. One guy would come up with an idea for lyrics, he would share the idea and then someone else would say I think I have a riff that would support that idea. It happened vice versa also, where the idea for the music would come first and then the lyrics would follow.

This past summer we were selected to open for Kenny Chesney at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly (where the Eagles play). We could only play original music for our set so that really gave us a push to get some of our songs recorded. It also inspired us to write more and helped give us the push into the studio that led to ‘Everyday’s a Saturday’.


PEV: What can fans expect from a live The Mango Men Band show?


Our goal is to be positive, interactive and fun. We really like to get the crowd involved in what we are doing. We ask them to sing along, dance, limbo…but this comes from years of experience so we know which audience members to approach.


PEV: Tell us about your first live performance as a band. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

The first show with this group of guys was energetic, fun, and stress free. All John told us was that it was at a ‘club’. We didn’t think anything of it until we arrived that night and he informed us we would be getting paid strictly in one-dollar bills. Imagine our surprise….

Even though the band has been through several configurations over its 15 years of existence we still instinctively seem to know what each other is thinking and the audience picks up on the fact that we are enjoying what we are doing.

PEV: Is there a story behind the name The Mango Men Band? Please fill us in.

The name comes from a song in a Jimmy Buffett song “Son of a Sailor”.

“…Now away in the near future,
Southeast of disorder
You can shake the hand of the mango man
As he greats you at the border…”

I t dates to our days as a Buffett tribute band but we really feel it still encapsulates the fun, outgoing atmospheres of our shows.

PEV: How would you describe the sound of The Mango Men Band? And what do you think it is about the band that makes you stand out?

Our sound is a cross between rock, pop and summertime music with a hint of rockin’ country. Our musical influences include Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett and any other musician who tells a story with their music.

What makes us stand out is probably the relationship with the audience. Our job is to entertain and we will go to great lengths to make sure we are doing just that. Sometimes that means changing our set to match a particular crowd. And we are not above pimping out Bobby…the women go crazy for Barefoot Bob.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Mango Men Band? Don’t be shy now, tell the truth (HAHA).
Tom: I’m addicted to the Discovery Channel

John: I can be shy in a large group of people when I’m not on stage (the other band members are skeptical)

Mike: My wife says I am a neat-freak (seriously, do NOT move that remote ¼ inch from it’s designated spot)

Joel: I aspire to someday be tall enough to ride the rides at the amusement park

Bobby: As an homage to Michael Jackson, I am now wearing a sequined sock on my right foot

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a big part of your lives?

Our song ‘Follow Your Heart’ describes John’s first exposure to the guitar as a seven-year-old kid. It is his story but the theme of it really rings true for all of us. We have had music in our lives since we were young kids. Our parents instilled a love of music in each of us in various ways (John’s mom was a singer in the 50’s, Joel’s dad is a music professor, Mike’s grandfather taught him to play the saw when he was young, Tom’s parents bought him the 1978 Les Paul Custom he still uses today. Music has been dominant in Bobby’s life since he was in the womb. His mother went to the Renaissance Faire while pregnant and to this day the only thing that can soothe him is medieval loute music.

PEV: What one word best describes The Mango Men Band?

Fun

PEV: As musicians, you live a lot of time on the road. How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts? Any fun stories?

We all have full time jobs (a banker, a pharmacy database manager, an automotive service manager and two music teachers) so we don’t spend stretches on the road. But we do work full time and then play shows in the evening and on the weekends. We play the Greater Philadelphia area during the week and on weekends travel further (New York, Baltimore, Poconos, Jersey Shore). We all have families so the time we spend working means time away from them. That is probably the hardest part. We try really hard to incorporate our families into the show. John’s daughter, Sami, sings on the song Summer Sun on the CD and has started singing live at some of our summer shows. Our wives and kids come out to our shows when they can to support us.

When we opened for Kenny Chesney and LeAnn Rimes in Holmdel NJ, Tom and Joel used their all access passes to get into Kenny Chesney’s “Vibe Room”. This is a room where Kenny and his band relax before and after taking the stage. It was the only OFF LIMITS area as expressed by Kenny’s management team. When Joel sent a text message to the other guys that he and Tom were enjoying a nice cold Corona in the “Vibe Room” the reply back was a doubting R-rated response. Joel still has the reply saved on his cell phone.

PEV: Do you find yourself often going back to one theme in your songwriting over another?

The theme we go back to most is probably getting away from the stresses of life and relaxing, enjoying yourself. We hit on that theme in several songs on the CD, including Everyday’s a Saturday, I Need a Place to Go, Get a Life, It’s All Good, and We’re Still There.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your careers as musicians? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

We have an amazing set of friends and family. They come to our shows, they travel to see us play and support us in any way possible. Doing shows in our hometown is always a great experience because we have so many familiar faces in the crowd.

PEV: What can we find the each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Aside from working our ‘day’ jobs, you will find us being dads. We are on the sidelines of our kids’ sporting events, at their recitals, even changing diapers! You also might catch us on the couch watching the Phillies or the Eagles.


PEV: Is there still one artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

We have had the privilege of performing with members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, but the answer to that question is as diverse as each member’s musical taste. Tom is a huge Beatles fan, John loves Bruce Springsteen, and Mike would give his kidney to jam with John Mayer. Joel dreams of a collaboration with Snoop Dogg and The Klezmatics as he feels there is a huge untapped market for “gangsta Horas”. In fact, he he is currently hard at work on the first song, entitled “Oy Vey!! I’ma Bust a Cap Up in Here”. Bobby is still holding out for the chance to play with the Jonas Brothers.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

The Mango Men ;)

PEV: What is it about the connection of The Mango Men Band that keeps you together as a band?

The true test will be when certain members of the band (who were unavailable for this interview) read the responses we volunteered for them.J Seriously, we’re friends. We respect each other and listen to differing opinions. It has been by trial and error to get to this point, but we think we have found a group of guys that really work well together.

PEV: Tell us what an average day is like for the members of The Mango Men Band before and after a show?

The day starts with our day jobs. The inspiration for the song “Work Gets in the Way”. On a typical show day it is usually hectic and requires everyone to meet 2 hours prior to show time to set up and sound check. Once the show starts all the stresses are left behind and we each get to do what we truly love, to perform and entertain people. After the performance we all become roadies, breaking down equipment and rolling up cables.

PEV: So, what is next for The Mango Men Band?

The future looks bright. The new CD is receiving positive reviews and selling well. We are competing in Land Shark Lager’s National Battle of the Bands competition and currently lead our Nashville Bracket. By the time this goes to print we are hoping to have word that we are headed to Nashville to compete for the grand prize and get some national exposure for our music. If any of your readers want to vote for us, they can go to www.landsharkrocks.com and click on The Mango Men. In the meantime, be sure to check out www.themangomen.com to see when the “Everyday’s a Saturday” experience is coming to a venue near you. If you aren’t able to catch us live you can purchase a CD from our website or review tracks and order from i-Tunes or cdbaby.com.


For more information on The Mango Men, check out: www.themangomen.com

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Discography

I Gotta Go Where it's Warm, 2004

Everyday's a Saturday, 2009

You can see The Mango Men performing live on www.youtube.com. Just search on the band's name.

Photos

Bio

The Mango Men Band, established in 1995, has risen to become one of the most requested and sought after performing artists in the Greater Philadelphia Region, averaging 80 to 100 shows per year.

Following their success winning Kenny Chesney's "Next Big Star" competition in Philadelphia (opening for Kenny's Poets & Pirates tour stops in Philadelphia & Holmdel, NJ), The Mango Men celebrated the release of their first, all original CD in May, 2009, entitled, Everyday's a Saturday. Songs from the new CD can be heard on several internet radio stations and are available on iTunes. The band takes pride in their energetic and interactive shows, appealing to a wide variety of audiences and their thousands of loyal fans.

The Mango Men's #1 priority is always their audience, for whom they give 200% every single show, with their goal to create lasting memories.

Everyday's a Saturday spans many genres from rock, to pop, to country and takes listeners from the Boardwalk to Key West (and everywhere in between!)

The Mango Men credit Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen and several other artists as sources of inspiration.

To learn more about the band, to interact and to become a fan, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/themangomenband. Also visit their website at www.themangomen.com for their complete schedule.