Joanie Mendenhall | Secretary Waltz

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United States - California

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Pop: Folky Pop Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Type: Lo-Fi
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Secretary Waltz

by Joanie Mendenhall

"A dulcet voice... A deep intelligence and fierce wit. She bares her soul but never in a gratuitously confessional manner."--San Diego Union Tribune
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Trees by Your House
3:40 $0.99
2. Give You
3:00 $0.99
3. Mary Anne Waltz
3:45 $0.99
4. Something Dirty
3:41 $0.99
5. Patience is a Virtue
3:28 $0.99
6. The Tragic Type
4:23 $0.99
7. Not That Kind of Girl
3:54 $0.99
8. It's Me Again
4:08 $0.99
9. Zero
4:41 $0.99
10. No One Ever Plays This Old Piano Since You're Gone
1:52 $0.99
11. Loneliest Highway
3:46 $0.99
12. Last Time I Saw You
3:21 $0.99
13. City Window
2:43 $0.99
14. Even Tho' It's Springtime
1:58 $0.99
15. Everything, Nothing
3:27 $0.99
16. Give Up
1:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
* CDs out of stock, Secretary Waltz is currently only available on iTunes.

This is Joanie Mendenhall's debut album, made in the summer of 2004. She set up shop in the garage and played a bunch of instruments - guitar, piano, drums, bass - and got some help from Exfriends members Ray Suen on violin, Pete Hamilton on upright bass, and Matt Curreri on drums.

Joanie is also a member of Matt Curreri & The Exfriends.

* San Diego Music Award Finalist for "Best Local Recording"

Reviews for Secretary Waltz:

"A thoroughly charming debut that begs for repeated listens... From plinking piano lines on a Rhodes to the folksy tones of a fiddle, fuzzed-out guitar to jazz-inflected upright bass, her lo-fi compositions are rich with texture and rife with catchy melodies... A dulcet voice, pure in pitch and beautifully earnest... a deep intelligence and a fierce wit."--SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE

"Her molasses tongue, shimmering neo-folk waltzes and heroic suffering will fascinate you. Mendenhall never drowns in her suffering, for her musical landscape -- whether it's composed of upbeat, violin-driven shuffles, lo-fi guitar-filtered wavers or jazzy-bent, bass-heavy stomps -- gains an extra charge from her refreshingly sophisticated lyrics."--SPLENDID MAGAZINE

"Wholly engaging original songs... Think Aimee Mann or Rilo Kiley..."--SAN LUIS OBISPO NEW TIMES

"A kick-ass multi- instrumentalist abundance of heart to accompany a remarkable voice" --SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT

"Secretary Waltz is a stunning record, one that spans a dozen emotions and wraps them in Rhodes piano tremolo, faint lo-fi guitar and slow dance at the end of the night suggestions." --THE MUSIC EDGE .com

"Mendenhall's soft voice and scatterbrained charm belies the powerfulness of her lyrics on this debut album." --SAN DIEGO READER



to write a review


So gorgeous!
I love Joanie Mendenhall. Her voice makes my chest kind of do this thing where it presses in & aches & hurts a little (in that way that happens when you watch a movie and the people are so in love but they just won't get it together heartache-y hurt way) ... because what you are hearing is honest, genuine, sincere and just plain beautiful. The songs on this album are that- just plain beautiful.

Hazel Read

Really cool mellow sound. Enjoyed it very much.


I love this CD and have been listening to it non-stop... and when I'm not listening to it, the tracks are playing in my head. I love the variety of all of the songs, but as of now my favorite track is The Last Time that I Saw You.

Kate Sikora

Simply Beautiful!
I "met" Joanie on myspace and thought she was amazing...then I put my own music up on cdbaby and there she is again as a link to other artist within my genre. We traded cds and not only do I find her arrangements to be perfect...but I feel like I can really relate to her lyrics. I can't stop listening to the cd (nor do I want to!)I'm flattered to be sharing a musical genre with her!

nancy kelly

compelling and effortless musical style
the songs on secretary waltz each have a compelling reason to return again. great writing, effortless guitar and piano playing, sings like she's not trying to be angelic but her voice is simply that without being too sweet. i'm really glad i bought this record and would recommend it to my friends and family :)

Hugues Orsetti

a nice, solid and promising debut
How funny is that: I went to Joanie's music after I discovered the talented Matt Curreri, I had gone to Matt's music after I discovered his talented brother Paul, and I'd gone to Paul's music after I discovered the talented Devon Sproule!
The music of this CD is nice and pleasant, solid and promising. Joanie's melodies are mostly discreet and tasty, well structured, delivered with an agreeable, cosy voice. It may lack catchiness at times, as not much tunes sticked to my mind after several listens, but it's always pleasant and lovely, and some tracks like "Trees By Your House", "Give Me" and "Zero" are first-rate. I recommend this CD to fans of Aimee Mann and Laura Veirs, and to fans of Matt Curreri, of course. Question: is there another Curreri brother with a talented girlfriend around? I'm interested. ;o)

NYC fan

Joanie Mendenhall's quiet, precise voice and soaring melodies are addictive and
This CD is fantastic. It makes my other music sound false, trite and overproduced. Joanie Mendenhall's quiet, precise voice and soaring melodies are addictive and energizing - I ran 6 miles though Central Park listening to this CD yesterday (I think the waltz tempo helped too). The lyrics are clever and relevant. I love how she admits "I'm a low budget writer - I always refer to my favorite broken heart." Also perfect: "I'm 24, it's the year of the horse, and this one rides like a dream." Like someone else wrote, I can't imagine not owning this CD. I also can't imagine that Joanie Mendenhall won't be really famous someday.


haunting vocals paired with truly impressive songwriting
this cd articulates perfectly those moments you always wish you could capture so accurately and beautifully. while i have my favorites (patience is a virtue, last time i saw you), the composite is seamless.


an exciting find
Would have given this album 5 stars were it not for one or two songs I didn't like (the ones where Joanie's voice is made to sound like an electronic version of itself). Love the waltz feel of most of the songs; lends them an eccentricity as well as authenticity that they might otherwise lack. Voice and style reminds me a bit of Erin McKeown too.


Amazingly good
This is an amazing album. I'm afraid I'm not much of a musician myself, so can't comment on the technical details, but as it was famously said, "I know what I like", and what I like are artists like Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Sarah MacLaughlan, . . . and Joanie Mendenhall. Truly great. When's the next album out, dammit?
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