Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Exploring the possibilities of singing at a new venue . .

For several months now, I've been driving by a new rehab and memory care facitily that is under construction not far from my church.   I am unfamiliar with the company, but the design of the building was very familiar to me.

One day I stopped by the building, and found that several administrative staff were in place and working on site.  I was directed to contact the progam director and did so later in the day, introducing myself, as well as letting her know that I volunteer where I can as a therapeutic music entertainer. 

Several conversations later, including my offer to come in an audition to the staff and filling out a background check, and it looks like I will be singing there about 1-2 times a month once they are opened for business.  I may get to provide entertainment at the grand opening.  We will see.

I can't emphasie enough the need to have a clearly stated "elevator" speech to share when asked about the musical service I am willing to provide.  Mine has changed over the years, but it serves me well.  Here it is:

Good morning / afternoon.  My name is Rick Mang and I am the pastor at the local United Methodist Church.  One of my personal ministries to the community is to sing for senior adults in senior centers, and to seniors in nursing, long-term care and rehab facilities.  I do not charge to do this.  I am a certified therapeutic music entertainer, and I am willing to volunteer if your facility would benefit from my doing so.  I am available 1-2 times a month as my schedule allows.

I think the word "free" gets me in the door more often than not.  One day I hope to be considered good enough to be paid a fee, but that will probably be after I retire from pastor / preacher stuff.

It is good to volunteer in the mean time.  It feels good to offer a brief respite to senior adults, especially if they are going through some kind of medical treatment.  I'm glad I can make a little difference in their lives with the gifts and skils that I have to offer.

Monday, June 4, 2018

New song by Paul G. Hill

A song written by Paul G. Hill, one of my therapeutic music mentors, will spin on next Sunday’s  (June 10, 2018) Outbound Music special "Sunday In The Heartland" broadcast at 2:00 PM Central Daylight Savings Time.
You can listen through one of these options:
On Computer:

Mobile device listeners:


Greetings friends and fellow music makers,

Once again the vision for this blog is changing, or rather expanding, primarily because I've been able to return, over the past two months, to singing again for senior adults in nursing homes, rehab centers and senior citizen centers.  I've got two regular gigs, and I am working on a third.

As a result, I'm going to once again start posting about guitars and other musical instruments, specfic songs, basic equipment and offering suggestions to those who would like to bless the lives of senior adults with music. 

I will continue to post videos of my favorite songs performed by various musical artists, as well as stories about musicians and their favorite instruments.

More to come!  Thank you again for your support!

I believe in music!

Rick ><>

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Funny thing about playing a 12-string guitar . . . I play it a lot differently than I do a 6-string guitar. 

How do I play a 12-string guitar, you ask?   Good question.

Listen to the first song in this concert . . . that could have been me playing the 12-string guitar, especially when I was a lot younger.  A nice 12-string was my first decent guitar back when I was in high school.  I played with a folk group, and I sang solo every now and then.  The 12-string is a great rhytym guitar, and I'm tall and big enough to play a Guild jumbo 12-string.  The ringing jingle jangle works just fine if you are a solo player, now not for every song, but for many of the songs I do sing in public.

Enjoy this Gordon Lightfoot concert recorded years ago by the BBC.  I sure did.  Brought back a lot of memories of the first time I heard each of the songs.

If there is a master at writing songs about relationships . . . it is Gordon Lightfoot.

What is your favorite song?  When was the first time you heard it?

Rick ><>

Friday, February 23, 2018

Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band (Live 2003)

Here is the late Dan Fogelberg singing "Leader of the Band."  He says that if he was allowed to write only one song, this is the song he would have written.

I'm 60 years old in case you were wonderng..  At 60, I can give you some wonderful advice about life. This kind of advice is really important.  I hope you are listening.  You will want to write this down in your journal or common place book.  You may want to put this inside the cover of your Bible or favorite spiritual book.

Seriously, go get a paper and pen right now!  I believe in what I am about to write so stongly that I will give it to you for free.

Here it is . . . Life is all about relationships.  In life, the hardest you are supposed to work,  the greatest endeavor you put into anything, ishould be meant for your relationships.  I mean it.  I have no reason to lie about this.

Great songwriters like Harry Chapin, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, John Denver, Tom T. Hall, Hoyt Paxton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Dan Foglelberg (just to name a few) all understood that life is all about relationships.  Great singers and musicians understand this as well.  I have at times wondered if the root of all great music comes from relationship experiences both good and bad, sweet and sour. 

Hey, prove me wrong!  I don't think you will be able to.

I'm talking about relationships with lovers, spouses, family, friends, pets and even places where one has lived or visited.  Let's not forget professional an business relationships either. Relationships provide a depth to life that people crave and work so hard to find.  If they would focus instead on relationships, what they want to find would come to them.

May I ask you a question?

Is there a relationship that right now that needs you undivided attention?

Relationships are what matters, not career and possessions.  Trust me . . . been there, done that.  The richest relationships one can have, are the one you work on with all your heart and soul can muster.

Rick ><>

Harry Chapin--Taxi

Boy, I must really be in a warm, reflective yet meloncholy mood . . . to come across Harry Chapin singing "Taxi."   You want to talk about songwriting?  Ok, but it won't be a real conversation (in my humble opinion) without acknowledging Harry's music.

I wonder sometimes what "could have been" if Harry hadn't been killed in the auto accident years ago.

This a song rich in communicating the need we all have for meaningful relationships.

What relationship do you have today, right nonw, that needs your focus and nurturing?

Rick ><>

Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy (Live In Reno)

Here is a video of Gordon Lightfoot singing a slower version of the "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," a song he was commissioned to write for the centenial celebration of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.  I'm lookiing for the black and white video of Gordon doing this song for the first time many years ago.  I've seen it, but haven't found it yet.

This version is a bit more deliberate than some of his earlier recordings of this song.  Maybe that's part of growing older . . . becoming more deliberate about the things than matter to you.  Gordon is a singer, musician, and fantastic songwriter, but he is also a son of Canada, a historian.  He rose to the occassion with this song.

One thing is evident, he has always had a great backing band.  They are pros.

If given the chance, what would you write a song about?

Rick ><>