In love with trucking: Talent search winner Mandi Jo Pinheiro from Nashville studio

user-gravatar

Mandi Jo Pinheiro, the winner of the 2018 Trucker Talent Search, and her father and fellow guitarist, Urban Roger Brown, were kind enough to sit down with me in Nashville earlier this week. They’d come all the way from Idaho Tuesday for an all-day Wednesday recording session at Jay’s Place, a studio long operated by Jay Vernali on Music Row.

Conveniently, Vernali also offers up the apartment above the studio to travelers, and it was there that Pinheiro and Brown ran through a couple of the tracks the pair planned to put to tape, so to speak, the next day, and independent owner-operator Pinheiro (in a team with her husband, William) also offered up a tour through her history in trucking. That follows time in a cargo van working for a medical courier company in the Pacific Northwest, and a long-held dream of over-the-road work realized after she met and married William. Today, the pair run out of a home base of Twin Falls, Idaho, hauling step deck freight behind a 2005 Peterbilt 379. Hop on and run through it all with us in this edition of Overdrive Radio:

In the podcast, the daughter-father duet run through a tune Pinheiro worked up for the session that she calls “Guitar Town.” In the podcast, they’re playing in the apartment above Vernali’s studio, to which this little guitar Pinheiro’s showing off is the key. The well-appointed space was outfitted with other musical touches in keeping with the greater Music City environs, from a trumpet for a lampstand to a Martin guitar hanging on the wall.In the podcast, the daughter-father duet run through a tune Pinheiro worked up for the session that she calls “Guitar Town.” In the podcast, they’re playing in the apartment above Vernali’s studio, to which this little guitar Pinheiro’s showing off is the key. The well-appointed space was outfitted with other musical touches in keeping with the greater Music City environs, from a trumpet for a lampstand to a Martin guitar hanging on the wall.

 

With luck, Pinheiro will make an appearance or two at MATS in Louisville next week. I might suggest following her on Facebook to see how the freight gods are smiling on she and her husband next week to get there from their home base in Twin Falls, Idaho.With luck, Pinheiro will make an appearance or two at MATS in Louisville next week. I might suggest following her on Facebook to see how the freight gods are smiling on she and her husband next week to get there from their home base in Twin Falls, Idaho. Mandi Jo’s father playing a revamped version of “Amanda” he customized, so to speak, for his daughter and William’s wedding several years back. Catch a little of that, also, in the podcast.Mandi Jo’s father playing a revamped version of “Amanda” he customized, so to speak, for his daughter and William’s wedding several years back. Catch a little of that, also, in the podcast.

Bonus: Pinheiro’s entry to trucking over the road, as you’ll hear, coincided with the 2017 rise of increasingly connected truckers all around the nation using social media as a sounding board and platform for advocacy and organizing around issues, a lot of the recent-history activity spurred by antipathy for the electronic logging device mandate. A leading light in that group writ large has been Arline Bennett, for whom Pinheiro penned a take-off on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” that she plays in the podcast. Pinheiro also assembled a video for a recorded version of it built from stills she collected from Bennett’s surrounding community drivers, all sending messages of appreciation to her. It was just released this week, the day following our talk here, and you can find it below.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
Download
Partners in Business Issue Cover