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Mandie Bright will play downtown Victoria

By by melissa crowemcrowe@vicad.com
Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:21 a.m.

Mandie Bright

You Can Bet On It

Friday, Nov. 23, near Golden Gecko, Downtown Bar and Grill, and Greek's 205, Downtown Victoria. Free. reverbnation.com/mandiebright

Looking for an escape from Black Friday? Mandie Bright has you covered.

Catch the 29-year-old Victoria songstress downtown Friday night. Mandie (whose name was practically made for the stage) talks about her first guitar, the ins-and-outs of love, and what's in store for the future.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST PICK UP A GUITAR?

I was 15 whenever my mom bought me my first guitar at a garage sale. I think she paid $65. I still have the case, but the guitar got broken. I've been playing ever since, and I'm 29 now. It was a Hohner folk body and was enormous compared to me. I could hardly reach my arms around it.

My Uncle David taught me my first chords. Then I got some books and took it from there.

The reason I got it was I saw a Jewel music video in the early 1990s. I saw her playing and I said, "Mom, I need a guitar."

YOU WRITE ABOUT FALLING IN LOVE, HEARTACHE AND EVEN ONE NIGHT STANDS. ARE THESE ALL TRUE STORIES?

I've always written about my life or stories around me. They're not all my stories. Sometimes, it's something I saw, and it gave me a spark for the idea.

Of course, (on "Last Night" about the one night stand) I embellished it to make it funnier. You just put your head in and imagine it's you, that it's your moment, that you did something really awful and went home with a guy because you got too drunk. We've all seen it.

When I was younger, I had a sailor mouth. I had a brash way of coming out and saying it. Now, I ease into the turning point.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG YOU'VE WRITTEN AND WHY?

They're all so much a part of me, they're all my little babies. One of my favorites is the "Trailer Park Love Song" and I do really like "Last Night."

I tend to like the funnier ones. You can't take life too seriously. Just relax into it. I take my music seriously, but it's my fun release. It's my hobby. The moment it stops being fun is the moment it starts being work.

IS SONGWRITING SOMETHING THAT COMES FAST, OR DO YOU SPEND LONG HOURS TRYING TO GET IT PERFECT?

Some songs will take me 15 minutes, and I've got it all written and I like it. Some songs take me months. A few have taken a couple of years to finish. It depends on what kind of place I'm in, in my life.

I'm a stay-at-home mom. I wrote a song about how my daughter came into this world and meeting her father. The verse progresses. In the end, it's, "Never thought we could love someone this much."

WHAT'S IN STORE FOR MANDIE BRIGHT?

Right now I'm taking some time off from doing my solo stuff. I've been working with a band writing all new music, more on the rock and blues side than country.

We're still in the developmental stage. We'll have our first big show at Downtown Bar and Grill Dec. 9 for the Barbara Johnson Memorial Fund.

It's an evolution. I've always just wanted to write songs. That's been my main focus: it's not playing, it's writing.

To start writing a whole new style of music is opening new doors - I don't have to have so much structure or be so serious. I'm in my letting loose stage in life. I hit it way too late, you're supposed to do it when you're a teenager.

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