Roger Joseph Manning

Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. “Radio Daze & Glamping”


Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. – Radio Daze & Glamping

This set is a generous 76-minute CD of bright poppy well-played catchy mainstream-oriented tunes. Not quite Beatle quality but in the neighborhood. Mr. Manning (from the band Jellyfish) has a talent for hooks & displays that ability throughout this new 8-song CD which features 8 bonus tracks, some live & instrumental. Not entirely traditional stuff it’s a cohesive showcase of 60s type music with sugar but few carbs. It’s never lame or novelty. Manning knows his stuff.

Roger Joseph Manning

It’s all well-arranged & to some ears it may sound like Roger tries to recapture a pop-aesthetic that’s passed with dips into Leo Sayer at his rockiest, Clifford T. Ward at his melodious & the late Gary Wright (“Dream Weaver”). Roger isn’t being a parody. He pumps lots of adrenaline into the genre, such as “I’m Starting a Band.”

What Roger actually does is bring us back to when music was simply fun. No hidden meanings, or outlandish solos, but just highly polished melodic runs ala Stackridge (“The Volunteer”), Klaatu, a German band Freiheit who is Beatle-melodic (“Keeping the Dream Alive”), the late singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes, Rocky Burnette rockabilly (“Tired of Toein’ the Line”) & the similar to Roger — Richard Termini (“Dangerous Games”). Done with expertise.

Produced & arranged by the multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Radio Days & Glamping (Drops Sept 22-Omnivore Recordings) is a set that provides a menu of simple songs & ambitious ones (“On Our Way To The Moon”). It could appeal to some FM rock stations.

Roger glides dangerously close to pomposity & grandiosity at times but seems to negotiate it well. The heavy-handed work never gets away from his skillful hands. The pop music veers into new-wave wizardry with its exceptional sonics. On “Funhouse,” it almost sounds like Queen with the chorale in unison. Striking & impressive.

With the spacey strains of “I’m Not Your Cowboy,” & the instrumental take on “On Our Way To The Moon,” Manning runs a finger across the rim of Tony Carey’s ambitious Planet P’s “Pink World” glass. It’s an identifiable sound but Roger carries it with ease.

This is an accessible set by Roger — if you’re not expecting Emerson, Lake & Palmer, or Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Highlights – “I Feel Good, Bad, Fine,” “Rockin’ It Our Way,” “I’m Starting a Band,” “On Our Way To The Moon,” (both versions here), “Operator,” “Funhouse,” “I’m Not Your Cowboy,” “Creepie People,” “Down In Front” & “Too Late For Us Now.”

Musicians – Victor Indrizzo (drums), Chris Price (electric bass), Jason Falkner (electric/acoustic guitars), Eric Dover (electric guitar/harmony vocals), Jim Wilson & Blue McAuley (electric guitars), Taylor Locke (acoustic/electric guitars), Chris Manning (lead vocals – 2 songs), Joey Waronker (drums), Dan Rothchild (electric bass), Lyle Workman (electric slide guitar solo), Jesse McGinty (trumpet/trombone) & Cecilia Peruti (bgv).

Color image courtesy of Jay Gilbert. CD @ &

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