Five Firsts: Mamie Minch of Mamie Minch & Her Business
NAME: Mamie Minch
BAND AFFILIATION: Mamie Minch and Her Business
INSTRUMENT: guitar and voice
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first tape I ever bought was Muddy Water’s “Blue Sky.” Chalk this one up to like 50% teenage narcissism and 50% burgeoning good taste – it had a song on it called “Mamie.” I literally had never met another Mamie in my life. It was all for the best, as some of the first songs I learned were on that album – “I Can Never Be Satisfied,” etc.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER SAW WAS … (Do you think people will still come to my concert if I admit that it was Marilyn Manson in 1992 at the Chameleon Club in Philly??) I’m from Wilmington, DE, where there’s this thriving scene for reggae because Bob Marley lived there at one point. I saw Buju Banton as like a 10-year-old, and was totally captivated. Actually, the very first one was probably a family trip to a Dead show as a kid…
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … My first musical instrument was a Sterling guitar – literally a toy guitar from the 1920s. My dad helped me fix it up, and it played great! It still has a sweet little funky sound – it’s my living room couch guitar to this day.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … The first song I ever performed in public was “Sliding Delta” by Mississippi John Hurt. I was maybe 16 years old, and it was at a local cafe where I somehow landed a weekly gig. I was so nervous I was dizzy… but if I remember right, I killed it. My repertoire was made up of John Hurt songs and my own tunes.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The first band I was ever in was the Roulette Sisters, an all-woman group here in Brooklyn. We played together for probably six years in total and made two albums. It was a ton of fun, four-part harmonies, great old tunes, including women’s blues, early country, originals. I learned so much playing with them – how to respond to other musicians on stage, how to build a set list. Mostly in my career, I’ve been a solo musician – that is, me and my little 1930s National guitar. So what I’m doing now with My Business is pretty different – drums, bass, electric guitar. I’m excited to bring it up to MASS MoCA!