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Peter Mandic Band | I Used to Work

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CANADA - Ontario

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Folk: Folk-Rock
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I Used to Work

by Peter Mandic Band

Folk/Rock Storyteller
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sigh for No Reason
3:09 album only
2. Clothes with a Story
3:38 album only
3. Cupcake
3:35 album only
4. I Used to Work
3:27 album only
5. Oasis in the Sun
2:53 album only
6. Weather Bomb
3:40 album only
7. Freelance Urban Recycler
4:07 album only
8. Winner
3:55 album only
9. Fred
4:10 album only
10. Razor Wire
5:00 album only
11. 8 Guitars
3:56 album only
12. You Went Away
3:31 album only
13. Pickup Truck
2:47 album only


Album Notes
Over 40-somethings drop great new CD "I Used to Work" on eagerly awaiting fans
By Suzy Miller

Peter Mandic Band is led by Peter and includes Paul McKeracher on bass, George Douglas on mandolin and J. Bruce Walton on percussion, harmonica and backing vocals.

If you want to start a conversation about what is current with "Baby Boomers", this CD will work for you. The songs are written with the wisdom that comes from living a full life and looking at the world with a kind, thought-provoking and almost back-looking view.

Peter Mandic wrote all the songs but "8 Guitars" a co-write with Mario Panacci, “Razor Wire” a co-write with Wayne Carlson and "You Went Away" by Steve Moore. The songwriting is what stands out and makes this CD so gripping; in every song there are real gems of thought put to music. And to find an artist comfortable enough in his own skin to honour other songwriters is refreshing. The song placement takes you on a musical ride that starts off nice and easy and builds to full gallop.

“Sigh For no Reason” – the lyrics speak of heartbreak “barefoot in the sun”, sorrow-filled questioning, “what’s on your mind when you cry for no reason, kills me that I don’t know why”. The instantly memorable, "is it the season, when you spin me around".

Arrogance and new money, “Cupcake” tells the story of what’s not important in life. As you listen to “every chance reminds you what a lucky man he is” and “he never asks about you ‘cause the best life is his”, you recall a character in your own life that has mistakenly traded relationships for things … “a million dollars and a brand new car”. Peter has spun a tale with haunting visuals, “he lights a stick of sorrow, blows smoke rings in the wind”, the smoke almost filling the void created by his self-importance.

The title track, “I Used to Work", talks about life being down-sized by getting the clutter out. The clutter of working everyday at a job that is no longer any fun. This song resonates with Peter’s generation, a generation eager to scale back and a generation more than familiar with the pink slip. "I used to work, I used to scream". Peter writes about moving back to his roots and giving his treasures to others to enjoy – “shedding himself of stuff”. The freedom of stripping away all the unnecessary clutter and getting back to the bare necessities “build me a shelter, on a piece of rock”. Walton’s work on harmonica is fabulous. This song works so well following “Cupcake”; the guy who thought he had it all with his “million dollars” but in reality has nothing compared to the guy who “used to work” and now really has it all.

Douglas’ mandolin solos on “Fred” puts me in mind of the late great Willie P. Bennett. The song is about Fred J. Eaglesmith, a favourite songwriter of Mandic’s. It’s a raw, honest look at one of Canada’s best kept secrets.

Razor Wire, a co-write with Mandic and Wayne Carlson was featured on CBC’s Fifth Estate. The show chronicled Carlson’s life within the prison system and his parole hearing in March of 2006. A sad, sad song leaving you with goose bumps as Mandic and Walton harmonize “I’m always tired”.

“8 Guitars”, a Mandic/Panacci co-write is a favourite of mine. I love Paul McKeracher’s bass and the voice drops at the end of lines, “too many things … too much”. This song takes me down a garden path. I feel myself walking with some excitement towards something new “something I can’t loose”.

Steve Moore’s “You Went Away” is a bare angry in-your-face breakup song. Steve’s songwriting is great with lines like “with your piss cats hissing in the back of your Chevrolet, you went away …”. The band makes this song their own and you’ll find yourself pulling for this guy.

"Pickup Truck" is such a paradigm shift from Peter's other works. I love the spoken word, it makes me think of the great Mary Gauthier. When I asked him what he was thinking when he wrote this song, he
simply said, "suicide bombers". This song is current and relevant in today's crazy world.

This CD is for those who want something smarter beneath the lyrics. Well constructed songs performed by roots musicians with vocals reminiscent of Tom Petty or Dylan. Music with soothing space in the production.



to write a review

Freddie Celis

Rootstime-translated from Dutch
You can write songs but apparently you can also learn and perfect the craft in a music school such as Humber College where Peter Mandic formalized his training. Apart from that, this singer / songwriter has an innate talent for this art, because his lyrical pen and sensitive voice is what brings his third CD of thirteen songs together packed with charm. George Douglas, who plays mandolin and is one of the three band members, brings a fine key to the songs. The band was started one year ago and prior to that Peter Mandic tested his songs in and around Toronto area. Born in Sydney, Australia, Peter ended up as a teenager in Canada's Ontario, where for the past ten years perfected his songwriting with his guitar which he has played since his teens. His songwriting inspirations come from observation, small and large miseries, political and prison conditions or social scourges, including drug abuse and also songs about undying love. He sings it all with a narrative voice. The three Ontario band mates George Douglas, bassist Paul McKeracher and Bruce Walton who plays harmonica and percussion contribute to this straightforward album which combines simplicity with layering. Peter's lyrics are full of sadness and pity for the failings of the human endeavour. The slow rhythm and Peter's drawling voice lend itself perfectly to this mix of folk / country singer-songwriter stuff at the edge of the shadows. In the song ‘Fred’ which is about country singer Fred J. Eaglesmith he tells the story of what some don’t like about him but puts the spotlight on why he is paying him tribute. Peter packed all of this in a succession of sad songs. You hear a vague echo of a Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Eric Andersen, especially in the melancholy shrouded 'Razor Wire', written together with then imprisoned writer and jail breaker Wayne Carlson, who served 44 years in prison. The melancholy mandolin fits well with his desire for freedom and the weariness of imprisonment. It is clear that Peter Mandic is very close to the subject of his songs. When the Peter Mandic Band plays live they usually pack the room with no doubts that they will build a loyal audience. Who wouldn’t want to experience their live show as when they sold out Oakville’s Moonshine Café or to be at the Treehouse Studio when they recorded their thirteen songs…atmosphere assured.