Warm soprano vocals are combined with skill on a variety of acoustic instruments by Vermont-based songstress Cindy Mangsen. Equally effective with traditional Scottish ballads as she is with songs by contemporary singer-songwriters including Jack Hardy, Jean Ritchie and her husband, Steve Gillette, Mangsen has alternated between solo recordings, duo albums with Gillette, duo albums with Anne Hills, and trio albums with Hills and Priscilla Herdman.
Mangsen was raised in a musical family. Her father played a variety of instruments, while her sister played harpsichord. Mangsen's musical career began after her move to the Chicago area in the early 1970s. She became a regular performer at the Old School in Chicago and the Ark in Ann Arbor.
In 1980, Mangsen returned to the East Coast to attend the State University of New York in Albany. After earning a master's degree in library sciences, she took a job as a librarian at Bennington College in her hometown. Mangsen met Gillette, who soon joined her in Vermont, in 1978.
Mangsen has collaborated with Anne Hills since her 1983 debut album, Long Time Travelin', which featured Hills' vocal harmonies. Hills has continued to sing on Mangsen's subsequent solo albums. In November 1994, Mangsen and Hills released their first duo album, Never Grow Old, featuring guest appearances by Gordon Bok, John Hartford, Laurie Lewis, Tom Paxton, John Roberts & Tony Barrand and Carla Sciaky. Their second duo album, Never Grow Up, released in 1998, featured support from Jan Burda, Michael Cooney, Steve Gillette, Priscilla Herdman, Carla Sciaky, Rosalie Sorrels, Pete Seeger and Dave Van Ronk. Mangsen and Hills joined with Priscilla Herdman for a trio album, Voice, in 1990. The album was called "a clinic in harmony" by the Hartford Advocate. Their second trio collaboration, Voices of Winter, released in December 1997, was a seasonal celebration recorded during a trio concert tour.
Mangsen and Gillette have recorded two albums together -- Live In Concert, recorded at the Ark in 1993, and 1996's The Light of the Day.