LIVE: Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen @ Caffe Lena, 1/2/10

Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette

The singer-songwriter duo of Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen have been performing at Caffe Lena since 1968. Based in Bennington, this Vermont husband-and-wife team offer a well-balanced mix of originals and standards culled from various folk idioms, acoustic blues and country styles.

Mangsen’s silky soprano blends smoothly with Gillette’s tenor vocals, and both play their acoustic guitars flawlessly.

At Caffe Lena, the duo played and sang to a large audience of longtime friends and fans, offering a warm and intimate performance. Highlights of the evening included Gillette’s moving solo performance of the blues gem “Corrina, Corrina,” a stirring original tune in memory of the late Gamble Rogers and a set-within-a-set of several songs by Lou and Peter Berryman.

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It’s interesting to note that Gillette is better known to the public for the songs he wrote that were recorded and performed by Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Gordon Lightfoot and Garth Brooks, among many others, as well as the theme songs for several Hollywood films, including “The Pond,” “The Grass Is Greener” and “The Outfit.”

Cindy Mangsen, meanwhile, has collaborated and toured in a successful trio with Anne Hills and Priscilla Herdman.

“Being There” – the newest album from Gillette and Mangsen on their own indie label, Compass Rose Music – is a great example of their sparkling duo sound.

Photographs and review by Andrzej Pilarczyk

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