On the 19th of May Gracie Productions will release the songs “You Don’t Know”, “Without You” and “Going Now” by Manifest Calling a stellar, longstanding rock band, consisting of core members; Greg O’Kane (guitars, vocals), Tony Wilson (bass guitar), Trevor Cullen (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Thomas ‘Lenny’ Leonard (drums, vocals) and Amara (vocals).
Straight off I can say these are fantastic songs. No two ways about it. The arrangements are exceptional as is the interplay between the band members. The musicianship is also stellar, which is a must if you want to be a success on the rock band circuit. However, two things separate Manifest Calling from the pack: The lead vocals – both male and female, and the absolute all-round high level of their songs – from performance to production.
Manifest Calling dish out wonderful servings of melodic rock which in turn digs into the blues and prog-rock basket; in-between the band stuffs the songs with an abundance of delicious vocal harmonies and scorching red-hot guitar solos. I tried desperately to seek modern analogies for this band, and could not find one. I had to return to faded memories that went back thirty years or more, to find anything close!
Listening to “You Don’t Know”, I kept thinking Boston, Kansas, The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd and the list is endless. “Going Down” and “Without You” featuring Amara, had pretty much the same effect – The Allman Bros., Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special to name a few. Not that Manifest Calling is derivative in any way, they do their own thing, it’s just that they reminded of how rock music has fallen behind its forefathers.
Manifest Calling maintains the major aspects of what is missing from today’s rock bands – melody, harmony and groove. Just about any dumbo can crank out crunching power chords with a Stratocaster and a 100w Marshall amp. The question is, just how much melody, harmony and groove can you put above…in…and around, that beautiful noise? That’s where you’ll find the ultimate winning equation in classic rock.
Manifest Calling own that very equation, because their key members discovered it during the seventies, in its original form, and have carefully conserved and expanded the formula into its actual graceful state of groove-busting rock rhythms that will transport you to absolute ear-bending euphoria. If you have any interest in real rock n’ roll, don’t miss Manifest Calling!
THE STORY: Friends since the seventies music has been the center of Greg O’Kane (guitars, vocals) and Tony Wilson’s (bass guitar) friendship. Back then Tony was the Bass player for LA Metal band Last Rites when Greg was just being introduced to guitar. In September 1980 Greg moved to Ireland. On the very day he arrived, he met Trevor Cullen (keyboards, guitars, vocals), and just like his friendship with Tony, music was the center of their universe. While living in Ireland, Greg met Thomas ‘Lenny’ Leonard (drums, vocals), when he crashed the stage at a gig Tommy had just finished playing with Dublin soul and blues singing legend Ditch Cassidy. Greg was so blown away by what he heard that he warned both of them that they would all be playing in a band together soon.
After his return to LA in 2010, Greg and Tony formed Manifest Calling in 2013 and immediately began recording their backlog of material which had been sitting dormant. The thought to include Lenny and Trevor only came after finding local talent too expensive and pretentious. During the early stages of this process Greg met Amara (vocals) by chance. After hearing her voice, he immediately thought that she had to be recruited.
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