Colorado native Michelle Mandico traded in snowy slopes as a ski instructor for warm sounds of Nashville, TN to deepen her career as a writer and musician. Encouraged by a musical family, Michelle grew up singing with her sisters before learning to play piano at age 5 and she began songwriting shortly after. Her music is a cross between contemporary artists like Ingrid Michaelson and true classics such as Joni Mitchell.
Michelle’s onstage charisma blossomed in Denver's live music scene, and made her way from coast to coast at Los Angeles' Hotel Cafe, and Saratoga Springs' Caffe Lena. She's headlined notable venues including City Winery Nashville and Stargazers Theatre in Colorado Springs. In 2015 Michelle released Half Captive, a piano-pop EP produced by Jacob Schrodt. The second track, Give It Up, was featured on Nashville Indie Spotlight 2017. In April 2017, her song Name Game (a soul pop duet with Drew Southwell of Trove) aired on Bravo's “Imposters” TV show.
Michelle spent the last 2 years writing and recording her debut full-length album, PTARMIGAN, a colorful tribute to her crossing from the Rocky Mountains to Music City. The album concept stems from the image of a color-changing bird; a metaphor for her personal experience through a season of darkness and return to light. Venturing into Americana, Western-Folk and Roots, Michelle began recording with Kevin Houston in Coldwater, MS at Zebra Ranch, the legendary studio of Jim Dickinson. Stripped down to live takes with no click, no comping and a handful of esteemed collaborators (including Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars), the songs of PTARMIGAN lead with vocal intimacy and devoted lyrical imagery.
Love Good Music hosted an exclusive pre-release distribution of PTARMIGAN on their Spring 2017 issue alongside Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Rachel Tulane, and Ellie Holcomb. PTARMIGAN was officially released on July 6th, 2018.
| Photo by Kristen Castro