Mike Mangione shares music, family and faith in Kiva

Arin Bisaro | Staff Photographer Singer/Songwriter Mike Mangione sings "Red-Winged Black Bird Man" off of his new album. Mangione is a blues/folk singer, he tells the audience "gospel music is about looking up, but blues is like being in the dirt looking up."


Mike Mangione has been on tour for seven years and has enjoyed every minute of it.

The Americana-style musician said he keeps playing across the country because he loves to perform and needs money to raise his two daughters.

"Because I'm so dependent upon the money from touring, I'm always out," Mangione said at his show in Moore Hall's Kiva, Tuesday evening. "You kind of get used to it. It's your exercise almost."

The folk-singer from Chicago shared his unique style of Americana at an intimate show put together by the registered student organization, known as Reach Out. Many of the students in the RSO are part of St. Mary's parish on campus.

The group decided to bring Mangione to Central Michigan University to help introduce more students to the organization and to the Catholic community as a whole.

Corey Luna, president of Reach Out, said a minister in the area knew Mangione and told him CMU was something special.

"We're all about making connections," the Saint Johns sophomore said. "You never know what you'll get out of a little connection. Sometimes its intimidating to go into a church you don't know. We decided to hold (Mangione's concert) in the Kiva because it was bigger than our lounge area."

Luna said she was excited to meet Mangione and get to know his music more through a night of song.

"This is some good stuff," she said. "He's definitely great for making the stop here to play for us. This guy's got some really good music."

Mangione said he enjoyed playing in the midwest, and Mount Pleasant was a great small town to play in.

"It reminds me of home," he said. "It's great."

Mangione and his band are planning to record their next album soon, taking a short break from the constant touring. He said he's excited to go back to Chicago to spend time with his wife and two daughters.

"They're the biggest inspiration of all," Mangione said. "It's hard to balance the two. In time you learn. As you get older, the hope is you've created interest and can leave the dead ends behind"


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