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Liz Longley with Mando Saenz
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Liz Longley with Mando Saenz
Best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz Longley is an accomplished singer-songwriter based out of Nashville. Known for her deeply emotional music, Liz has earned accolades from some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition. Signed with Sugar Hill Records, her self-titled debut album received critical acclaim, being described as “a thing of beauty” (Pop Dose) and “packed with instantly memorable pop rock songs…” (Popmatters) Her follow up album Weightless, released in 2016, was praised as “stunning” (HuffPost) and “something more; a cleverness, a wit and a mix of musical styles” (Dallas Morning News) Liz’s music has been featured on tv shows such as Lifetime’s "Army Wives,” ABC’s "Beauty & The Beast" and MTV’s “Scream.”
In her latest single, Longley delivers on her ability to craft intimately personal portraits through music with her emotional take on the Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”. The Berklee College of Music alumn is headed into the studio with 5-time Grammy-nominated producer, Paul Moak, for her much awaited sixth album.
Hailing from Texas, Mando Saenz has become one of the most notable songwriters in country and americana music, and has established a sound uniquely his own. He has received over 50 cuts from some of today’s biggest artists – including Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, and Midland. He has contributed to 5 Texas
(via Stoney LaRue and Wade Bowen), as well as platinum selling, ACM award winning , and Grammy nominated records (via Lee Ann Womack and Miranda Lambert). Though Mando has contributed to the success of so many artists, he has also been lauded for his personal projects. Mando’s new album All My Shame, produced by former Wilco member Ken Coomer, is an extenuation of his treasured catalog that proves his ability to expand his sound while sticking close to those deep-cutting songs we know Mando best for.
For this project, Saenz, who was one of Carnival Music’s first artists to land a recording and publishing deal, has worked with several Music City songwriters, penning tunes for the likes of Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack and Aubrie Sellers, among others. Regarding his choice of producer, Saenz had worked with the Grammy-nominated Coomer before on various side projects. He knew Coomer had a knack for taking a song, tweaking it, and then catapulting it to another level. Such is the case with standout track “Cautionary Tale,” a tune Saenz co-wrote with acclaimed singer/songwriter Zach DuBois. “Ken turned the bridge into an unexpected post-chorus towards the end, and it might be my favorite moment of the record,” Saenz says of the song, which warns about the hard knocks that often attend the musician’s life this day in age (“I’m just another part of a big machine/ Where lights are bright the streets are mean/ And the talk is smooth when it wants to be/ It’s a cautionary tale”) he sings with unapologetic sincerity.
All My Shame sounds like a synthesis of everything Saenz has learned and loved throughout his musical journey. It merges the old and new, and gives us a fresh, green blast of infectious, melodic rock wedded to his ever-thoughtful songwriting. “I think this record is more reflective of those influential [pop and rock] artists than my past records, which leaned more to my Texas roots,” he says. “But at the end of the day, I like to think that there’s more of me in there than anything. A Texas folky at the heart of it all.” With one foot in tradition and one in the future, Saenz’s career is a testament to perseverance. And in his case, he just keeps getting better.
June 23, 2023
The Evening Muse