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Mandy Barnett at Orchestra Hall, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Country singer Mandy Barnett has had some hits of her own during the past 23 years, but she’s mostly staked her reputation on preserving the songs of her forebears.

The Tennessee native is known best for her starring role in “Always...Patsy Cline.” But she’s also broadened her reach with “The Nashville Songbook,” a show celebrating music of not only Cline but other classic artists, and particularly songwriters, from Music City. It’s Barnett’s way of keeping the music alive, especially at a time when country is in a markedly different place...

• Barnett, 42, says by phone that the idea of “The Nashville Songbook” is “celebrating all the great, great songs that were either written or recorded in Nashville. Of course, Nashville is known for country music, but Roy Orbison recorded the majority of his hits there. So did the Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee. Elvis (Presley) recorded a lot of early stuff there. It’s a good variety of songs.”• Barnett’s show focuses • Barnett’s show focuses primarily on music primarily from the 50s and 60s, which she considers the golden age of Nashville music. “It’s the melodies, first and foremost,” she explains. “The lyrics are beautiful; They’re meaningful, there’s emotion. You’ve got a great melody, a lyric that means something -- you just can’t beat that. A lot of modern-day songs really don’t have that component. A lot of the songs nowadays are just having fun, especially the country songs. They’re about drinking beer and having fun and going out on the backroads in your truck kind of thing. That’s never been anything I’ve been interested in singing about, so we just focus on the stuff that we like to do, and people still want to hear those songs.”

• Barnett is working on a new album -- her seventh overall and first since her “I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs Of Don Gibson” in 2013. “This album is going to be more Americana,” she says. “I went in a different direction because I’ve always done classic country, and I always will, but I wanted to do something a little different, a little more soulful, rootsy, bluesy, a little more sparse. I’ve always done really lush albums with strings and voices, that kind of thing; This is a little more organic. I’m just finishing it up; I don’t have a release date yet, but it’s in the works.”

If You Go:

• Mandy Barnett with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, “The Nashville Songbook”

• 10:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19, and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.

• Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

• Tickets are $15-$110.

• Call 313-576-5111 or visit dso.org.

Web Site: www.dso.org

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