Michelle Mandico

Michelle Mandico

Maybe April, Zach Dubois

Friday · July 6, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$10.00 - $15.00

This event is 21 and over

Michelle Mandico
Michelle Mandico
Colorado native Michelle Mandico traded in snowy slopes as a ski instructor for warm sounds of Nashville, TN to deepen her career as a writer and musician. Encouraged by a musical family, Michelle grew up singing with her sisters before learning to play piano at age 5 and she began songwriting shortly after. Her music is a cross between contemporary artists like Ingrid Michaelson and true classics such as Joni Mitchell.

Michelle’s onstage charisma blossomed in Denver's live music scene, and she has headlined notable venues, including Los Angeles' Hotel Cafe, Denver's Lost Lake and The Basement in Nashville. In 2015 Michelle released Half Captive, a piano-pop EP produced by Jacob Schrodt. The second track, Give It Up, was featured on Nashville Indie Spotlight 2017. In April 2017, her song Name Game (an soul pop duet with Drew Southwell of Trove) aired on Bravo's “Imposters” TV show.

Michelle spent the last 2 years writing and recording her debut full-length album, PTARMIGAN, a colorful tribute to her crossing from the Rocky Mountains to Music City. The album concept stems from the image of a color-changing bird; a metaphor for her personal experience through a season of darkness and return to light. Venturing into Americana, Western-Folk and Roots, Michelle began recording with Kevin Houston in Coldwater, MS at Zebra Ranch, the legendary studio of Jim Dickinson. Stripped down to live takes with no click, no comping and a handful of esteemed collaborations (including Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars), the songs of PTARMIGAN lead with vocal intimacy and devoted lyrical imagery.

Love Good Music hosted an exclusive pre-release distribution of PTARMIGAN on their Spring 2017 issue alongside Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Rachel Tulane, and Ellie Holcomb. Official release Summer 2018.
Maybe April
Maybe April
Maybe April is a Country Americana trio made up of Kristen Castro, Katy DuBois (Bishop), and Alaina Stacey. Hailing from Simi Valley, CA, Jonesboro, AR, and Chicago, IL, the three met in the summer of 2012 at a music industry camp in Nashville, TN. They wrote a song that would later take them to Los Angeles to play at a GRAMMY week event, along with Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Allen Shamblin, Gavin DeGraw, J.D. Souther, Joy Williams from the Civil Wars, and many others. Since then, amongst hundreds of shows, the girls have opened for Brandy Clark and Sarah Jarosz, played Pilgrimage Music Festival and IBMA's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, and had their video "Last Time" premiered on CMT. Maybe April is recognized for their three-part harmonies, strength as instrumentalists, original songs, and shared roles as frontwomen, each adding something different from their musical backgrounds to create a unique sound somewhere in between Americana and Country. Just like their harmonies, Alaina, Katy, and Kristen are a perfect fit. Their love for each other and their music continues to push them in their endeavors in Nashville, where they have been based since 2013.
Zach Dubois
Zach Dubois
Flânuer - a noun of French origin, defined as a gentleman philosopher who travels around observing life and his surroundings. Perhaps there is no better way to describe the past six years of Zach DuBois’ life - and, as he explains, it is the perfect title of his new collection of songs. “I first heard the word flâneur while watching an Anthony Bourdain show called The Layover. They were in Paris and he was talking to a bunch of people about the essence of flânuer. At the time, I was trying to come up with a name for the album, and after hearing it being described on the show, it just perfectly captured the soul of the project. All of these songs came from the last six years of my life, traveling around the US and parts of Europe, playing music for anyone who would listen to me.”

It’s been quite an interesting journey for DuBois to arrive here. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2011, the Elkhart, IN native decided to put medical school on hold in pursuit of his passion for music. He recalls that process, “As part of an entrepreneurship class during my senior year, we had to develop a business plan for a venture that we wanted to start after graduation, so I decided to focus my project on being a touring singer-songwriter. After I ran the numbers and completed a feasibility analysis, I sort of had a ‘Eureka’ moment, realizing that I could actually make money playing music instead of taking a more traditional path.”

Once his studies were finished, DuBois put that plan into action, self-booking and promoting a tour in most states East of the Mississippi. Some nights might see a crowd of two, other nights two hundred, but throughout the process he held firm to his plan. “The whole purpose of that first tour was to make connections and gather emails from people who liked my music. So after it was over, I ran a Pledge Music campaign to fund my first album." These days, DuBois plays to bigger crowds than his early years - he's shared the stage with the likes of Old Dominion, Josh Abbott Band, Jack Ingram, Turnpike Troubadours, and American Aquarium - but looks back fondly on how far he has come.

After recording two albums (Destination Unknown and Back Porch) and seeing his video for “Work Harder” get picked up by CMT in 2016, Zach DuBois shows off his growth as a songwriter and artist with his new release, Flânuer. DuBois co-produced the project with his frequent collaborator Eli Rhodes. In attempting to describe the sound of Flâneur, DuBois offers, “I guess I hope it lands somewhere between John Denver and John Mellencamp - between singer-songwriter and roots rock. That’s what I’m shooting for. We tried to make sure that the production enhances the lyrics and allows the message of the songs to ring true.”

One of the highlights of the album is “Pray For Rain,” a ballad which DuBois describes as a modern-day homage to Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath. “Over the past few decades, we’ve seen an influx of immigrants to the US from Mexico and Central America. People seeking the American dream. I wanted to tell that story, but I didn’t want to take a big political stance - the talking-heads in the news media and politicians on both sides of the aisle do a good enough job of that. As a songwriter, all I wanted to do was try and show the humanity of the situation. At the heart it, these are people simply trying to make a better life for their family. And I think that’s something that we can all relate to.” The forthcoming music video for the song has personal roots. “There’s a guy here in town, who is kind of a handyman for a couple of my close friends. He has actually crossed the border twice, illegally. Hearing his story was incredible. He now has a wife and family here, and has jumped through off all of the necessary legal hoops, but he’s certainly an inspiration for the song. I’m so happy to be able to feature him in the music video.”

On the other end of the spectrum of Flânuer is “Paris is for Lovers,” which has a more humorous origin – although perhaps it wasn’t so humorous at the time of the song’s inception. “I guess it was two and a half years ago, I took my girlfriend at the time to Paris. Paris is the city of love, so what an awesome experience for a couple to experience together - right? Well, there were multiple nights we ended up getting into ‘disagreements’ after, perhaps, enjoying a bit too much wine,” he jokes. “One of those nights, we were at a corner cafe and she ended up leaving me at the table, going back to our Airbnb. At that point, I took out my phone and typed ‘Write a song about breaking up in Paris’ because at the time I thought there was a good chance that was going to happen. Plus, I had never heard a song about that before - it was an interesting angle. So when I got back to the States, I got together with my buddy Eli (Rhodes) and wrote it.” The real-life story has a happy ending, though, as the couple returned to the City of Lights the following year and became engaged.

Other standouts from the album include the lead track “Life on the Road,” an autobiographical anthem of the singer-songwriter’s past six years on the road, chasing a dream. “Proverbs to Peter” was inspired by Zach’s time volunteering at The Little Pantry That Could, a food pantry in West Nashville. One of the frequent shoppers at the pantry was a homeless man who detailed his life to DuBois, including the fact that he possessed an MBA but was now unable to hold a job because of his problem with alcohol. The song is a riff on the axiom of not judging a book by its cover, which is both literal and metaphorical as the song’s narrator hides a flask of liquor in his Bible, so as to hide the habit from his family.

DuBois believes it is essential for artists to define success early on in a career, as it is crucial for finding happiness and establishing contentment throughout the journey. “Success is different for everyone. Some define it as being on a major label or having a number one single. I’ve never defined success in those terms, though. Mostly because so much of that stuff is out of your control. For me, being successful is very much two-fold. First and foremost, I want to create music that I am proud of. When you get to Nashville, and you start to have a little success within the songwriting community, it's easy to fall into the trap of chasing fads, because publishers might tell you that they are looking for a particular type of ‘commercial’ song and sound. Unless you are in-tune with yourself as an artist and songwriter, it’s easy to lose touch with who you are. The thing that distinguishes you - makes you unique and different. The other aspect of success, for me, is to be a self-sustaining artist. So, in those two respects, I feel as though I’ve already achieved success. I certainly want to continue to grow as an artist and as a human being, exposing more and more people to my music, but it is good to step back and be proud of what I’ve built to this point. Flâneur is 100% the album that I wanted to make, so I hope that it connects and resonates with fans. If industry folks in Nashville don’t like it, if the labels don’t like it, that’s fine with me, because this is me as an artist. This is who I am, and who I want to be going forward. It’s such a difficult industry, and the odds are that you are not going to ‘make it’ - so if I’m going to go down, I’d much rather go down swinging, doing it my way, as opposed to trying to ‘play the game,’ being something that I am not, and still failing anyway. I would absolutely have regrets if that happened. Staying true to myself, carving my own path - I’ll never have regrets doing that.”
Venue Information:
The Walnut Room - Walnut Street Location
3131 Walnut St.
Denver, CO, 80205
http://www.thewalnutroom.com/