Just a few minutes ago, New York City’s alt-folk/Americana artist Pete Mancini dropped a new single, called “Pine Box Derby.” The single is the first of three from Mancini’s sophomore album, slated to drop in 2019 on the Diversion Records label.
Mancini started out as the front man and songwriter for Butchers Blind, a rock band from NYC. In 2017, he dropped his debut solo album Foothill Freeway, an exploration of Americana influences. In 2018, he followed by releasing a live EP, Alive in Patchogue.
At the present juncture, Mancini and his band, the Hillside Airmen, are touring across America. Mancini has shared the stage with Blues Traveler, Gin Blossoms, Pure Prairie League, Robbie Fulks, James Maddock, Steve Forbert, Marah, Kevin Gordon, and Iain Matthews.
“Pine Box Derby” is about the lingering vibrant memories from childhood, memories with the magical ability to carry us back to more pristine moments, triggering suggestions of losing our way somewhere along the journey to maturity.
Mancini says, “It’s a song about looking in the mirror and staring down some hard truths. At some point we all have to take stock of the road we’re on and whether or not we want to course correctly. We can’t go back, but we can map out our paths along the way and pass them on. A signpost at a crossroads, somewhere between hardship and a higher road that leads you home.”
“Pine Box Derby” opens with light strumming on an acoustic guitar, followed by the entry of Mancini’s mellow, captivating voice. When the piano and electric guitar join in, the tune takes on tender pensive colors, as Mancini contemplates former events. The tight drawling hues of the guitar infuse the music with nostalgic savors, as Mancini, backed by the gorgeous vocal harmony of Cassandra House, weaves his tonal magic.
Although the song oozes wistful melancholy, there’s a sense of imminence emanating from the simple facility to reminisce, for memories extract images from the past, while at the same time providing a template for a different version of the future.
“Pine Box Derby” delivers poignancy reminiscent of Jackson Browne and Dan Fogelberg, a delicate emotional perspective pregnant with mysterious symbolism.