11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Mando Saenz

Mando SaenzHosting 11 Questions has been a great way for yours truly to discover new music from many unfamiliar artists. However, from time-to-time, I do get a visit from someone for whom I’ve long been a fan. Today my honored guest is fellow Texas to Tennessee transplant, Mando Saenz. Over the years, I’ve caught him live several times and have enjoyed all four of his LPs, including his latest and first in eight years, “All My Shame,” out recently on Carnival Music.

The new record is certainly looking to be one of the year’s best and shows Mando stretching a bit from his usual Country/Folk styling. While this gifted songwriter has been one to see many of his songs covered by other artists, he surprises us all on the new record with his unique cover of the late Ronnie James Dio’s Pop/Metal classic “Rainbow in the Dark.” Listen to my fave track and the breakout song from the new LP, “The Deep End.”

So excited to have Mando Saenz grace this page and so excited to hopefully see him live sometime later this year!

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

Moved around as an Army brat early on but spent my 4th grade year through high school in Corpus Christi, TX. I moved to Nashville 14 years ago after living in Houston for six years where I started doing music. Moved because I signed a publishing deal with Carnival Music and felt I needed to be here.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

First was the Ace Frehley solo record at a K-Mart somewhere in Maine. Technically, my parents bought it for me. Last was Jellyfish’s Live at Bogart’s 1991. Got it at Grimey’s in Nashville. Both were vinyls.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

First was Ronnie James Dio at the Corpus Christi Memorial Coliseum. Last was ELO at the at the Bridgestone in Nashville. Both were amazing.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Lee Anne Womack.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Coffee is 8th & Roast and pizza is Mafiaoza’s.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Bobby Bare Jr.’s Young Criminals’ Starvation League.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?


The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Kim Richey, Adam Wright and Waylon Payne.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

The Basement, Basement East, Mercy Lounge, The 5 Spot and Bobby’s Idle Hour.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.


Finally, what’s in your musical future?

More records, more shows, more songs and more collaborations.

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