Welcome to the online home for acoustic soul traveler, Michael Mandrell. Michael is an artistic and passionate contemporary fingerstyle guitarist whose ear is tuned to the creative side of the world fusion genre. As Public Radio International's executive producer Kimberly Hass observes: "Michael's hybrid guitar styles reveals a guitarist of eclectic sensibilities and delicate technique. His music circles the globe in imagistic compositions..."  

Notes From the Road

Howdy Ya'll! A little story from my most recent Texas sojourn 

Just got back from a short two week jaunt down to Houston, TX, my hometown, to be a sidekick to Ruth Beck who started the initial recording tracks of her new CD. On a previous trip back in July I introduced her to Erich Avinger, my old freind and ace jazz/rock guitarist who has been on the Texas music scene and beyond for many years now.  Erich has a great little boutique home studio with fantastic sounds, great personal attention, it's simple and comfortable with nothing but  pro audio the whole way. A major inspiration to my music, he artfully recorded my solo guitar project, "Returning and Returned".

I thought Erich would be a nice engineer/producer match for Ruth with her Celtic harp and original tunes, so off we went to Texas with the Dusty Strings Celtic floor harp in a rather large custom made shipping box. Southwest airlines let us check it on as over sized baggage, simple enough. Getting it in and out of airports with our little hand cart was quite a chore, but we somehow managed to get it to where it needed to be. The photos show the harp (and Ruth) arriving safely to the Houston airport, and the vintage Neumann U-47 microphone Erich acquired for her vocals. The recording sessions sounded great, Ruth sounded awesome, and with some extra time needed up ahead to add guitar and percussion tracks, and then with the usual mixing and mastering, expect to hear about her new CD by early next year most likely.
We three are always up for adventure, so we took a break from recording and made an overnight road trip up to E. Texas to Nacogdoches, my old college town, playing a rowdy night of blues at a performance and book release party, hosted by our old friend and amazing artist, Charlie Jones. He makes handmade books these days, more at www.lananacreekpress.com. His most recent is "My Black Angel", a celebration of the great blues performers, old and new, with poems by Kim Addonizio. She flew in from San Francisco to be there that night for the book release party, she read her great poetry while we jammed on the blues. Tell you what, Erich rocked on the electric guitar in true Texas blues fashion, and Ruth can really sing the blues when she wants to. I hung out the best I could somewhere in between on acoustic rhythm guitar. After the show we  finished the night off with a real homemade barbeque dinner. Hoo boy was that fun.

We finished our stay with more studio work, family visits, and some good New Orleans style Gulf seafood to boot.

Good to be back in the NW after all that, Ruth and I are jazzed to be heading up to Port Townsend, WA. this weekend for a cool show (see blog below), we sure hope to be seeing you on down the road this fall.

Upcoming Concert in Port Townsend 

I'm very excited to be reuniting with my dear friend and fellow musician, harpist David Michael for an evening concert in Port Townsend, WA. Hosted by the Port Townsend Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center, the night of original music will feature not just one, but TWO harps as my music partner, singer-songwriter & Celtic harpist Ruth Beck will be adding her unique sound as well! If you live around the area or are looking for an excuse to get out of town for the weekend to take in the breathtaking scenery and some great music, too, please join us. Concert starts at 7:30pm. For more info, please visit www.unitypt.org

Travels in Texas 

What a whirlwind the Fall season is off to! In late August I had the great honor of being asked to be the featured guest guitarist for the debut of Paul Winter's "Missa Gaia" (Earth Mass) performance. The concert was spearheaded and directed by the talented composer & conductor Susan Peck in collaboration with the Friends of the Columbia Gorge and was funded by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. The concert featured a nine-piece music ensemble as well as 65-member choir, and debuted in downtown Portland at the beautiful First Unitarian Church, to much acclaim.

Before I knew it, I was back on the plane and headed to Texas for a few weeks of concerts, collaborations and recording sessions. Looking forward to landing back in Portland soon! Happy trails ~Michael


Back in the Great Pacific Northwest! 

Hey All & welcome to the new website! After a busy summer of touring in the Southwest through New Mexico & Colorado it's great to be landing back where I call home in Portland, Oregon. Keep in touch for this month's upcoming music events & performances. Hope to see you around! 


Michael's mailing list

Upcoming Shows

Valentine's Day Concert

24205 NE Alvas Road, Battle Ground, WA


Join Michael & Ruth Beck for this special concert as they share original songs from the heart.