Mandy and the Bandits came together first in 2007 to bring songs to life written by Amanda Crumley, and what life have they found! After moving to Chicago to be a jazz musician, she ended up writing two bluegrass-ish, country-ish songs on a whim, and the pure joy of demo-ing the original material was more than enough impetus to keep writing. (And writing.) Eventually there was material for a full-length album, but no money to make one happen. The band continued to perform, with the increasing artistic necessity of making a record.
After a few years of waiting for a windfall that never came, Amanda decided to do something drastic. With the help of Sean Archer, she launched a campaign asking fans, friends and family for donations to produce her first record. Miraculously, with the help of family, good friends, total strangers and one totally anonymous benefactor, enough funds were raised within two days to fund the entire project. The universe seemed to be saying YES! Absolutely, YES! Now, here we are. The debut 11-track album, "When Darkness Glows" is here, with ten original songs penned by Crumley and a beautiful cover of Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns." Songs of heartbreak go hand in hand with the theme of finding light inside of the darkness itself; not 'redemption' necessarily, but even better: finding reward in the journey.
Of her artistic process when writing Amanda has said, "Remaining open both artistically and emotionally are paramount for me in living and in making music. My songs come from a vast spectrum of emotions where darkness and lightness need equal expression; every form of music can inspire a certain part of me and so they do! What I find when I've cultivated all of the pieces to a song is that something totally unexpected and pure spontaneity reveals itself through the music- a new discovery that I could not ever have conceived as beautifully myself!"
Produced by Crumley and helped along by renowned pedal steel player Greg Leisz (Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, Shawn Colvin), local Chicago giants John Rice and Brian Wilke, the music shimmers. With a new line-up of musicians including Rob Clearfield on piano and accordion (Information Superhighway, District 97), Jim Tashjian on guitars (Treehouse, District 97), and Jess Birch on drums (BRONZE), the music has truly come into its own.