The music of ManGoBe at once exudes mystery and discovery, inspiration and doubt, hope and a steely determination to overcome. His songs are the stories of a road-hardened adventurer whose zeal, though tested, remains unquenched by a gauntlet of pitfalls and strife. With a voice that swells in a rare balance of strength and fragility. ManGoBe weaves his message using stunning color and detail, telling tales of real life… with all its pain, intimacy, struggle and triumph. These are the kinds of stories that come from the spirit of a carpenter, a long-distance truck driver, or a traveling troubadour. ManGoBe has been all of these in his life. It is this experience that informs his depth, wisdom, and sheer magnetism. Bolstering ManGoBe's songwriting is his seasoned and unparalleled musicianship. His guitar playing is flat-out mesmerizing, his fingers dance across the fret board with the agility of a water spider on a summer pond. This is not your father’s folk rock, folks. With equal parts power, finesse and virtuosity, ManGoBe commands your attention and delivers a point blank shot… straight to the soul.
Spencer Scholes to Man Go Be
Spencer grew up part of a large mormon family. Born in Idaho and transplanted to Durham at the age of 3 away from the hive as it were, he began learning at an early age what he would need to know in order to make the escape. While still a toddler in diapers, Spencer began inventing 'melodies' and music that he was eager to share with anyone who would listen. His best audiences at that time were found among the crickets, clouds, birds, and vine assaulted trees as he made circuits of the backyard humming. Ate age 4 or 5 to the age of 9 Spencer's parents started him on weekly piano lessons with an older private teacher in the neighborhood. Mrs. Keely the chorus and music teacher at the local elementary school made a big impact and gave Spencer a boost in confidence and joy by introducing him to learning how to sing all proper like. Mrs. Keely who still remembered Spencer on site and by name twenty six years later in a grocery store in Raleigh which was great because Spencer recognized her but couldn't remember where from. The shame.
The amazing Mrs. Keely made another major impact on Spencer's musical growth by encouraging him to try out for the North Carolina Boys Choir led by the musical and personal powerhouse Bill Graham. Spencer was accepted and spent a good four years or so in total receiving intensive musical training for his voice as part of a whole. Towards the end of his stint with the NCBC Spencer began to get antsy as the day of his escape approached. He tried all sorts of ways to be sent away to some nature camp where he could spend more time with the bugs and bees and be allowed to run like a wild mustang but alas his previous plots culminated in generating the tension required to set off the charge needed to break the bands holding him in a pattern that did not fit. With the NCBC Spencer was able to travel to many cities in the country and perform concerts as part of the choir for many folks all around. Bill Grahams instruction was strict, precise, and intense and proved invaluable to Spencer's voice.
Now the travel thing runs deep. Spencer aka ManGoBe comes from a long line of adventuresome travelers, his mother being among the most gung ho for a road trip. With parents who grew up in large families out west ( mother is one of ten ) the Scholes family travelled somewhere every year. Every other year growing up Spencer's family packed a van and all the wild mormon kids and drove across the U.S. to Utah most often but also to Oregon and California and all points in between. Spencer's pops travelled a lot for work sometimes to south and central America and had business trips which took him away from Durham and the kids for days or sometimes weeks at a time.
As was the custom in the family, on each business trip where Pops could be accompanied, he would work the kids into the travel schedule one at a time. On the one and only trip that Spencer got to take alone with his Dad, they went to Cherokee NC. They stayed in a hotel and enjoyed a presentation by a local man who came and spoke about the Cherokee language and customs and some of the brutal attempts of whites to subjugate, marginalize, belittle, and destroy the native peoples. The next evening after fishing in the Nantahala River ( where his Spencer's dad got a ticket for catching trout on the Reservation as they had unknowingly wandered down stream out of the state park ) Joe Scholes took his son to a park bordering the river where two hundred yards or so apart, two stages were set up and on one stage a Country band was playing and on t'other, a Bluegrass band was playing.
Now, Spencer knew from the age of 4 that music was what he is meant to do in life. He was often composing soft piano pieces late at night when everyone was sleeping ( if no one woke up the composition was a success ) or laying in front of the old record player/radio in the front room waiting for his favorite tunes to come on and day dreaming of being on stage playing and singing his own original songs, or performing on stage in recitals, school performances, choir concerts, or singing a solo in the choir such as on one Christmas eve in Duke Chapel in front of 'what a thousand people? All of this and more came driving home at the age of ten beside the Nantahala River finding him walking back and forth thru that mystical landscape between two bands who were actually doing the thing.
Then the break came and Spencer was ejected from the hive and home around the age of fourteen or so. Before the break happened his parents gave him a Carlos acoustic guitar which became the foot of the mountain for 6 years. Within four years Spencer was hitch hiking around the country fingering that guitar for nine hours a day, singing old folk and blues songs on the streets for money and in every bar, street festival, parade, camp site, home, back yard, mountain top, national forest, street corner, bum hangout, homeless shelter, beach, party, train or bus station, or wherever else he could get into and play. With a catalogue of Blind Willie McTell, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, U2, Pink Floyd, and Grateful Dead with a slew of amorphous originals Spencer walked across most major cities west of the Mississippi. Sleeping in forests, deserts, foggy meadows, and craggy beaches, Spencer slept in the rain, snow, sleet, hail, deep rolling Pacific or Rocky Mountain fogs and slushes and in amazing glens tucked into red wood gully's and dry bone canyons.
Eventually the poverty and the resurfacing of a repackaged an unfortunate affliction of a religious nature led Spencer into a life of work a day normalcy and credit building and framing houses and driving big ass trucks around for years n years. Twenty odd years of deep depression, bottomless loneliness, and the languishing of creativity culminated in a pressure of anger, frustration, judgment, ridicule, isolation, separation, and weeks of long hard labor ( no problem ) and weekends of taking sweet magical hearted elderly folks to the temples of their choice.
To shorten the synopsis by inestimable proportions let's just get to the point where the pressure seal breaks and the flood gates open and a major life transition opens up where now Spencer at 41 y/o finds himself aware that if he doesn't make a change that he will likely die doing what other people want him to do without living his own life to the fullest and truest he can. While driving a tractor trailer one day three words fell into his mind and shifted and shouted and scrambled into order. Man. Go. Be. A statement of courage. A statement of humility and awareness. A statement of "it's time and the time is now". "Life is short, no matter what you or anyone else says, I'm going to live my life and be myself". "I won't be subjugated or sublimated for someone else's comfort anymore." " I won't hide myself to please your desire to feel superior or more advanced or whatever" " I will live my life and make the changes necessary to heal and to move forward with love and compassion and wisdom and joy!" " I am a man, and it is my to time to go and be". Man. Go. Be.
Now Spencer writes and performs with purpose and once again, all in, as ManGoBe.
Tonight he is in Asheville NC. having moved into a cargo van which he with the help of amazing friends has outfitted into a mobile home. He is touring nationally whether he has a booking anywhere or not. He has committed to releasing one song per week starting this week thru his Patreon Page https://www.patreon.com/mangobe
He is logging his tour on video and in writing and will be updating this here site on the regular. So if you like his music, show some love and support him on his journey. If you don't than go complain to someone who will like his music and support him on his journey. Either way he expresses great gratitude and a willingness to write a song about it.
Catch him on tour. Invite him to play at your club, house concert, festival, listening room, backyard party, parade, street fair, Euro tour... Don't be surprised when he does it.