Mandy Barnett : The “Nashville Songbook”

Called the “Nashville Sound Chanteuse” (Music Row) and “the Judy Garland of our time” (American Songwriter), Grand Ole Opry member Mandy Barnett has built a reputation for her commanding voice and unwavering devotion to standards in that sweet spot between country and pop. Barnett has enchanted listeners around the globe with her world-class vocals and musical chameleon qualities. Of this singer’s singer, songwriter’s dream, and audience favorite, renowned songwriter/artist Jimmy Webb states simply, “Mandy Barnett has a voice for the ages.”

The “Nashville Songbook” is a collection of songs that made Nashville famous—some of the most influential and iconic country and pop standards ever written, originally recorded by artists as diverse as Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, The Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee, and more, and written by the likes of Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, Willie Nelson, Don Gibson, etc. Barnett’s pure, powerhouse voice and artistry make these songs her very own, as she rolls seamlessly from heart-wrenching ballads to toe-tappers. Spend an enchanting night of timeless music with one of today’s premier vocalists with her “Nashville Songbook” show that appeals to music fans of all types—who will undoubtedly want to sing along to some of the best-loved tunes of all time! Barnett first unveiled her “Nashville Songbook” concert with the Nashville Symphony, in celebration of the Symphony’s 70th anniversary. Since then, Barnett has teamed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, and performing arts centers for “Nashville Songbook” concerts.

It’s no accident that Barnett continues to pay tribute to the “Nashville Songbook.” Barnett has a deep connection to the songs—to the artists who recorded them and the songwriters who penned them. Barnett grew up in East Tennessee and came to Nashville frequently as a child and teenager to record and perform. During that time, she met many legendary country and pop artists and songwriters, often in studios or the backstage wings at the Grand Ole Opry. Barnett is pleased to have the opportunity to honor these icons with her “Nashville Songbook” show!

Barnett first gained national notice as the original star of the jukebox musical Always…Patsy Cline at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. She is the only actress to have played the role of Cline on the stage where Cline’s legend began. Barnett later worked with Cline’s producer, renowned Nashville Sound pioneer Owen Bradley, who also produced Cline’s most loved chart-toppers (as well as producing Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, and k.d. lang). A Tennessee Music Pathways historical marker in Barnett’s hometown honors her contributions in making Tennessee the “Soundtrack of America.” 

Barnett’s music has been featured in many major film and television soundtracks, including projects starring Clint Eastwood, Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Martin Sheen, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Burstyn, Bill Paxton, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Barnett also often contributes tracks to multi-artist compilation albums of all genres including 2022’s Gershwin Country collection from Great American Songbook Ambassador Michael Feinstein. Of Barnett, Feinstein says, “Few singers have the gifts inhabiting the soul of Mandy Barnett. Her blessed voice connects to the truth of every note she sings. She’s simply one of my favorite voices.”

Among the many publications praising Barnett’s talents, the Los Angeles Times heralds her “pipes of steel,” “big voice” and “vintage-sounding arrangements.” Time, PeopleBillboardRolling Stone, and other major media have likewise extolled Barnett’s superlative vocals, “natural musicality” (People), and “vocal finesse” (New York Times). USA Today calls Barnett one of Nashville’s “finest classic country and torch singers,” while the Chicago Tribune calls Barnett “a torch singer in the grandest sense of the word” and the Austin Chronicle notes that “when people start talking about Mandy Barnett, eventually the word ‘amazing’ gets used.”

Variety magazine named Barnett’s latest work, Every Star Above (arranged by the late maestro Sammy Nestico), one of the best albums of 2021, praising it as a “rich throwback” to Great American Songbook gems. Barnett has also released a string of acclaimed country and Americana albums.

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