Chris Mann is a good looking guy.
Standing in the sound stage at Valley PBS, he greets fans in a perfectly tailored suit, with a boy-ish smile and a five-o-clock shadow that almost seems planned (seriously, I wish I could pull that off).
Jean Britt doesn’t quite swoon, but there is awe in her eyes.
“I’ve been stalking you,” says Britt, who at 81, drove in from Mariposa with her daughter just for the chance to meet Mann. Internet searches aside, she has been following Mann’s career since she first heard him on “The Voice” last year. She doesn’t normally watch those kind of shows, much less do the whole call-in-voting deal, but for Mann, she voted every chance she got.
“He came in fourth, but that’s OK,” she says.
Mann was at Valley PBS last night answering phones as part of the station pledge drive. He was also there to promote his first PBS special, “A Man For All Seasons,” his album “Roads” and his June performance at the Tower Theatre (you can get tickets by supporting Valley PBS).
Having a PBS special was a long-time dream for Mann and one of the first things he started working on after his success on “The Voice.” He grew up watching PBS in Wichita, Kansas, a place that didn’t often get artists stopping through. Especially the kind that aired on public TV.
For him, it was needed outlet.
“There’s no question there’s someone else that feels that way. Here, in Fresno,” he says.
This kind of programming is progressive and important and needs continued support. “They’ve supported music like mind for years,” he says. You can Mann’s full take on the importance of arts education (and by extension PBS) over at the Huffington Post.