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Bob Manor Band - Blue Sky Falling

Bob Manor Band - Blue Sky FallingBlue Sky Falling is the result of an eighteen-month recording project by Bob Manor and Jeff Knight.  The two have crafted ten tracks of folk-rock Americana, drawing from influences as diverse as rock, folk, blues and bluegrass.

Bob Manor's gritty vocals feature on all tracks, telling stories of universal themes against the backdrop of Americaís heartland - observations of love, luck, and the human condition from the viewpoint of the latter-day minstrel.

The album opens with the driving title track, distorted guitars pushing a catchy chorus. From this ear-catching intro, Blue Sky Falling ranges from contemporary rock a la Black Crowes (Girl With A Gun) to country-tinged balladry (One More Without). There are songs on this CD that definitely deserve airplay - In Between is a song that would be equally at home on country or rock FM radio, while the moody Another Monday Morning would fit in on any AOR play list.

While Bob and Jeff play most of the instruments on the CD, there are numerous guest appearances by musicians from around the planet, courtesy of today's technology and the World Wide Web.  Various friends made on the web during the course of the albumís writing and recording supplied lead guitar and backing vocal tracks. This 'global village' approach to the contributors on Blue Sky Falling is something I find admirable, and sets a good example for others to follow in sharing talents and experience.

On this CD, I hear moments of Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and even The Boss himself.  Song wise, my personal favourites are In Between, Chasin' The Blues and Blue Sky Falling.

As with any self-produced recording, there are drawbacks, not the least of which is budget and facilities.  I would love to have heard this album produced up in a top line studio with a big name producer at the helm. The song writing deserves it.

Having said that, Blue Sky Falling is an enjoyable listen as is, and I would recommend that anyone who enjoyed Seger, Mellencamp or Springsteen in their heyday find this album and grab a copy.

The modern music industry, with its multinational backers and obsession with the 'bottom line' misses out on a lot of good music.  Bob Manor doesn't look like Brittany Spears, but he writes bloody good songs.  Ten years from now, Brittany will be yesterday's news, but Bob & Co. will still be writing good songs.

Since the release of Blue Sky Falling, the Bob Manor Band has become Tin Ceiling, and continues to play gigs around their area.  The new line-up is currently planning a new recording.

Click on the link below to get more info on the band, and get hold of a copy of Blue Sky Falling. There's more where this came from, and it's only going to get better.

Graham Greene


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