Chicken on a Rocketship
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Reviews

CHICKEN ON A ROCKETSHIP is the third CD by Chad Manning (The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands). Recorded live in Chad's home with many of his favorite musicians, Chad fiddles his own twist into thirteen tunes drawn from the old-time, bluegrass and texas-fiddle canons. Sometimes haunting, other times ecstatic, this album captures the energy of live and improvised string-band music. David Grisman, Jody Stecher, Jim Nunally, Laurie Lewis, Suzy and Eric Thompson, Catherine Manning, Alan Senauke and Patrick Sauber all bring something very special to this project.

Chad Manning - fiddle
Jody Stecher ≠ mandolin, banjo, vocals
Jim Nunally - guitar
David Grisman ≠ mandolin (tracks 3 & 5)
Suzy & Eric Thompson ≠ Vocal, Guitar
(tracks 6 & 13)
Laurie Lewis - Vocal, Guitar (track 10)
Catherine Manning ≠ fiddle
(tracks 10 & 13)
Patrick Sauber ≠ guitar, banjo
(tracks 7 & 10)
Alan Senauke ≠ lead guitar (track 6)
Jasper & Jayna Manning ≠ vocal (track 13)

Old Gnarly Oak
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Reviews

Chad Manning's latest recording showcases Chad's talents at playing traditional bluegrass, Texas-style fiddling and more. Old Gnarly Oak features an all-star cast including David Grisman, Rob Ickes, Jim Nunally, Bill Evans, Scott Nygaard plus other special guests. His recording offers an array of hot bluegrass tunes, a nice touch of traditional Texas, a driving mandolin/fiddle duet, an oldtime clawhammer banjo/fiddle number, a taste of "Dawg" music, twin fiddling, not to mention a couple real pretty waltzes. If you're in the mood for lots of fiddling Old Gnarly Oak is the album to pick up.

"Chad Manning is equally at home with bluegrass, swing and Texas-style fiddling. His playing is soulful, tasteful and exciting as are his orginal tunes. It's always a gas to pick with him!"
  — David "Dawg" Grisman

Chad Manningís debut fiddle album, produced by Jim Nunally and Darol Anger, features the best of the best in the bluegrass and new acoustic genres. Mike Marshall, Rob Ickes, David Grier, Darol Anger, Scott Vestal, Todd Phillips, Scott Nygaard and Michael Manring can all be heard on the album.
In the Midst showcases many of Chadís styles including Bluegrass, Newgrass, Old-Time, Celtic, Swing, Jazz and New Acoustic. Chad wrote 7 of the 11 tracks, creating a modern sound that never loses its traditional roots. In the Midst is a perfect introduction for an exciting new voice on the scene.

"Chad Manning is one of the most impressive from an exciting new crop of fiddlers. Not only does he play great but he can really write a tune!"
  — Darol Anger

In The Midst
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Reviews

DGBX, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience
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CDs are $17
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For the past few years, one of the best-kept secrets of the Bay Area music scene was a David Grisman Bluegrass Experience show. With lines stretching for blocks, it would be standing room only to hear this amazing band. Now at last, everyone can hear David Grisman and his stellar group of Bay Area bluegrass musicians on DGBX - The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience.

The band includes Keith Little (Ricky Skaggs, Dolly Parton, the Country Gentlemen) on 5-string banjo, guitar and vocals, Jim Nunally (John Reischman & the Jaybirds) on guitar and vocals, Chad Manning on fiddle, Samson Grisman on bass and of course, David Grisman on mandolin and vocals.

"Bag of Knives, Bob Bradshaw -- principal songwriter -- on vocals and guitar and Chad Manning -- producer, co-mixer -- on fiddle and mandolin, put together songs and arrangements as delicate as Manning's tremelo mando picking on the title track.

Throughout, the lyrics are as carefully chosen as every note on this elegant album. Downtempo tunes dominate and sadness lingers. But there's more than enough beauty and inventiveness to lift the coldest heart.

The waltz-able refrain ("Dance with me") of "Desert Waltz" -- the tale of a soldier's deployment and return -- brims with longing effectively mirrored by Manning's playing. "Please" features the wish-I'd-written "snug as a gun" (by way of Seamus Heaney?) and "the shock that shook me speechless." "Another Day in the Life" overlays detail on detail on top of insistent bass and fiddle as it moves toward its inevitable but still devastating conclusion. "From The 2-Step To The 12-Step Once Again," brings welcome humor while proving these guys know their way around a swing tune.

This "Bag of Knives" is sharp: lovely, affecting, and original."
© David Kleiner

Bag of Knives
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