Monday, August 4, 2008

Vince Mira: The Newest Star in Country Music


Cindi Bower

What do you get when you take a heaping spoonful of Johnny Cash, stir in a dollop of Elvis Presley, add a dash of Bob Dylan and mix well? You get country music's newest singer/songwriter, Emmanuel "Vinny" Miranda, also known as Vince Mira.

Vince's older brothers discovered one of their favorite songs, "Ring of Fire," performed by Social Distortion, was originally sung by Johnny Cash. Cash's music, similar in style to the norteƱa sound popular with Latinos, became a regular part of the record rotation on the family's stereo during Vince's childhood.

When Vince turned 12, he started playing the guitar. He knew then he wanted to be a musician. Though Johnny Cash songs were favorites, he realized his voice was not capable of doing justice to them at that time of his life. He started singing the Spanish songs that reflect his Latino heritage as well as songs by Buddy Holly, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan. Those still rank among his favorites. Vince says the older classics are far better than much of what constitutes modern music.

At about age 13, Vince's voice changed suddenly and deepened. He knew the time had come to add his favorite Johnny Cash hits to his growing repertoire. His mom, Lupe Miranda, encouraged Vince to start playing his music and singing at Seattle's Pike Place Market, home to about 240 street musicians. She thought he had a good, strong voice that people would react to.

She was right. At first, Vince performed mainly Spanish songs, which garnered him some tips. When he added some Johnny Cash classics to the mix, people began to take notice of this young man.

One person who noticed Vince was Chris Snell, owner of the Market's Can Can Kitchen and Cabaret. He was on his way to the club one day when he heard a deep, melancholy voice belting out a Johnny Cash tune. Expecting to see a middle-aged man with the lines of hard living etched on his face, he was shocked to see that the song was coming from the mouth of a slender high school kid.

Snell, who has since become Mira's manager, invited Vince to perform at the Can Can club and the rest, as they say, is history.

Besides performing every Tuesday night at the Can Can club, Vince has appeared at several music festivals in the Seattle area, including Pike Place Market's Centennial concert in August 2007 and the Sasquatch! Music Festival in May 2008. He has also appeared on Good Morning America, The Ellen Degeneres Show (she gave him the Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar that he now uses), and on KOMO-TV's Northwest Afternoon program.

In September 2007, Vince cut his debut album at Cash Cabin in the studio where Johnny Cash once recorded. The album, called "Cash Cabin Sessions," was produced by John Carter Cash, the only son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. In addition to Cash staples like "Walk the Line," "Blistered," and "Ring of Fire," the album includes songs written by Mira ("Cold Hearted Woman" and "Lonely Heart"). To celebrate the release of the CD, Vince performed at Seattle's Triple Door Club on February 26, 2008, the anniversary of Johnny Cash's birth.

Also in September 2007, Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard got Vince involved in a project with several Seattle musicians who are reinterpreting the music of Hank Williams, Sr. Gossard says of Vince: "He has this incredible gift, this huge sound. And then he's got a real fire in his eye, and he gives it up." (SOURCE)

While he is honored to be compared to the legendary Johnny Cash, Vince says he doesn't want to be locked into performing only Cash hits or even country music exclusively. He wants to expand his repertoire to include music from different artists and genres. He also wants to add his own compositions to the mix.

Given the success he's already experienced in his short sixteen years, it seems the world will be enjoying Vince Mira's voice and music for years to come.

Even if you don't like country music, check out this young man's performances. You will be amazed! (Watch and hear Vince sing!)

More resources



No comments: