Eleni Mandell

Wake Up Again, inspired by teaching songwriting in two southern California women’s prisons, poses some tantalizing and probing questions. But none is more key to the album than the one that closes the album, finishing off the wistful waltz of the title song.

“Some songs were written there, while I was teaching and participating in the assignments that I gave,” says singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell, “others are portraits or amalgamations of two or more inmates or were inspired by something I heard them say.”

Working with the inmates provided many epiphanies for her as a person, and proved fertile for her as an artist, as captured in the 11 songs on this album, her 11th studio release. In many ways it’s the culmination and fulfillment of all the strengths as a writer and performer going back to her start under the tutelage of Chuck E. Weiss, Tom Waits and other top chroniclers of people in the shadows.

“I was inspired by the stories, and surprised by the laughter I heard there. And I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, by how many different kinds of people were there: teachers, lawyers, nurses, and also people who grew up in poverty.”
The result is a set of compellingly personalized portraits and vignettes, probing looks into the lives and minds, the regrets and guilts and hopes of those she met, but ultimately also of her. And us.

Wake Up Again is out June 7, on Yep Roc Records.

Esther Rose released her debut album 'This Time Last Night' June, 2017. The album was recorded live to a 2-track tape machine at Mashed Potato Studios in the Lower 9th ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. Since it's release, Rose has toured with her album and shared the stage alongside The Punch Brothers, The Deslondes, and Pokey LaFarge. Rose is featured on Jack White's latest solo album 'Boarding House Reach' on the country-soul duet 'What's Done is Done'.

Rose is inspired by the honest writing and soaring melodies of American greats such as Hank Williams Sr. and Joni Mitchell, and the community of writers and musicians around her New Orleans neighborhood.

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