His latest self-produced CD, “November”, was released in the spring of 2008. The album features Manson’s Santa Fe, NM-based band, along with guest spots by the likes of Hollie Farris and Jeff Watkins (James Brown Horns), Sharon Gilchrist (Peter Rowan/Tony Rice Quartet), Tom Adler, and others. The 13 songs inlcude co-writes with Joe Flood (Mumbo Gumbo), Brian Henneman (The Bottle Rockets), and longtime Manson coconspirator George Breakfast. “Three seconds into November, Jono Manson makes one thing clear: The party has begun.” (‘The Santa Fe Reporter’ - March 19, 2008)
Jono is currently assembling songs for a new project, an all-acoustic album, which he plans to record in the spring of 2009. He is also in the midst of a song-writing project with John Popper of Blues Traveler, and there are plans in the works to record an album together in November of 2009.
Here’s how the story goes:
Jono comes from a family full of creative people.
For example, his mother was a principle member in the Martha Graham dance company, who also worked alongside the likes of Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and Leonard Bernstein and Jono’s cousins are the filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. So, it’s not surprising that he formed his first all-original band in 1968, at the age of seven and, from that moment on, never looked back.
Manson fronted many groups throughout his school years, always playing original music. He became a full-time professional musician at the age of 19, when he began working almost nightly in bars and clubs in his native New York City. In 1981, along with legendary NYC guitarist Simon Chardiet, he founded “Joey Miserable and the Worms” (which later became just “The Worms”). The six piece band played it’s own infectious blend of jump blues, funk, rockabilly, country and R&B. To this day, Manson’s songwriting reflects a wide range of styles, and defies easy classification. During his ten years with the Worms, Jono played repeatedly in virtually every live music club on the New York scene, including Max’s Kansas City, Dan Lynch’s, CBGB, The Ritz, Peppermint Lounge, the Lone Star Cafe and, of course, Nightingales…
‘The New York Times’ wrote: “The Worms helped turn Nightingales into a hangout for local musicians and scenesters and wound up becoming local heroes, influencing countless local bands.” (Neil Strauss)…And ‘High Times’ Magazine wrote: “If it wasn’t for Jono Manson, then Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors and Joan Osborne and the New York jam-band scene may never have happened. It was Manson who showed these young whippersnappers how to turn a blasé bar crowd into true believers at now legendary hole in the wall, Nightingales” (Cree McCree).
From ‘The Phoenix New Times’: “Any PR man worth his weight in hyperbole would be all over Manson’s story—how he befriended and granted crucial opening slots to both of the future platinum recording acts that, a decade later, would sell out hundreds of arenas nationwide as co-headliners of the groundbreaking H.O.R.D.E. jam-band festival tours. In addition, Manson’s acoustic ensemble, the Les Ismore Orchestra, provided the public’s first glimpse of Joan “One of Us” Osborne.” (Serene Dominic)
While playing with the Worms, Manson also found time to participate in numerous side bands such as “The Mighty Sweetones” and “The Dogs” , and the “Les Ismore Orchestra”, to name just a few. These Manson side-bands also included members of other infamous NYC bar bands such as “The Blue Chieftans”, “God Street Wine”, “The Five Chinese Brothers”, “Mumbo Gumbo”, and “The Surreal McCoys”. Jono recalls several years in the mid-1980’s when he played over 365 gigs a year, without ever leaving New York City. Towards the late 1980’s Manson did, however, begin touring outside of New York. The Worms’ two independently released albums had become favorites on college radio playlists across the midwestern USA and the group followed the trail. The band had a short-lived development deal with CBS/Epic Records, who chose not to release an album, and in 1990 they played their last show.
It was during this period Manson opened his first recording studio in Brooklyn, NY, and began recording and and producing countless other artists, an activity that he continues to this day.
In 1993 Manson, feeling that he needed a change of scenery, moved from his hometown and resettled in the mountains of northern New Mexico, where he quickly set up a new home base. In no time he was up to his old tricks, playing locally, touring nationally, writing and recording solo projects and producing music for local musicians.
“The latest buzz out of Santa Fe is a man named Jono Manson (first name sounds like U2’s Bono last name sounds like Helter Skelter’s Charlie). But he’s not a native.; in the early eighties, Manson and his band, the Worms, galvanized Manhattan’s downtown bar circuit. Recently, he left New York to live in Tesuque, New Mexico, where he’s practically become the Dalai Lama of local music.” (from ‘The Phoenix New Times’)
In December of 1995 Manson’s album “Almost Home” was released on A&M Records. The album featured, among others, members of Blues Traveler, The Allman Bros. Band, and The Rolling Thunder Review. Of “Almost Home” ‘Billboard Magazine’ wrote: “Jono Manson and his band cook up a saucy brew of blues and rock, as shaky vocals, guttering guitar riffs, and solid drumming combine to deliver a sharpened hook.” And from ‘Entertainment Weekly’: “This veteran New York bar band manages to rise above the roots-rock riffraff offering an effective cure for the alternative rock blahs in the process.”
In the summers of 1995, 1996 and 1997 Manson played as part of the H.O.R.D.E tour alongside Sheryl Crow, Dave Mathews, Taj Mahal, Pete Droge, Lenny Kravitz, Neil Young, and many others. When not on the road with his own band, or as the lead singer for “High Plains Drifter”, he could be found working the clubs in his adopted home of Santa Fe NM.
In 1998 “Little Big Man”, produced by Manson’s old pal from his NYC days, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Del Lords, Steve Earle, Yayhoos), was released on Paradigm Records. That same year, the Italian label “Club de Musique” released Manson’s independently produced “One Horse Town”, marking the beginning of the artist’s European career. Jono has toured in Europe every year since, playing gigs in Denmark, Switzerland, England, Ireland, France and of course Italy where, to date, six of his self- produced CDs have been released.
“The new release features Jono’s signature blend of folk, rock, blues and soul, with infectious grooves of “Jr. Walker Drove the Bus” and “Please Stop Playing That Didgeridoo,” culminating in the almost hypnotic strains of the closer “Summertime’s Almost Over”. Jono Manson continues to deliver his own road-tested and proven brand of soulful roots music in this new collection” (‘Quad Cities Journal’ review of “Sumertime ” - 2006)
“This new collection from Jono Manson reels and rocks, serenades the soul, and cuts to the heart of the matter. Strong new compositions like “Alibi,” and the title cut “Live Your Love” each take on their own life. This is tough stuff from a stellar songwriter and performer who makes every note and phrase count” - (‘True Blue Magazine’ review of “Live Your Love” - 1999)
His work as a producer also expanded into the European market. He has completed a range of projects including two albums for singer/songwriter Stefano Barotti, and Italian pop phenomenon Momo (Sony/BMG). In fact, Manson became so intensely connected to the Italian music scene that at one point he decided to pull up stakes and relocate. He made his base in Italy from 2003-2006.
Manson has also made many guest appearances on a many outside projects, both as a instrumentalist and vocalist, ranging from homegrown indie projects to multi-platinum albums. He has also lent his voice to a growing number of voice-overs and commercial jingles. He has also been the subject of a one hour episode of the “House of Blues Radio Hour” (in which he was interviewed by Dan Ackroyd aka Elwood Blues), as well as an episode of VH-1 “Tuned In”, both of which aired nationally in the USA.
In addition to all of the above, Jono has a growing number of film and television music credits to his name. Most notably, he wrote and produced several songs for Kevin Costner’s “The Postman, in which he also had a small on-screen role, and his recording of “Miss Fabulous” is featured in the Farrelly Brothers’ hit movie “Kingpin”.
Musicians on Jono Manson’s CDs include:
Warren Haynes, Mark Clark, The James Brown Horns,Tom Brumley, Nicky Hopkins, Ian Wallace, Wally Ingram, Paolo Bonfanti, Beppe Gambetta, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, Joe Flood, James Wormworth III, Mike Merritt, Craig Dreyer, John Popper, Howie Wyeth, Kevin Trainor, Eric Schenkman, Joe Terry, Mary Lee Kortes, Bobby Sheehan, Chan Kinchla, Steve Lindsay, Ron Sunshine, Jerry Dugger, Sharon Gilchrist, Tom Adler, Peter Williams, and others.
Jono Manson has perfomed and/or worked in the studio with:
Blues Traveler, Roscoe Gordon, Bo Diddley, Joan Osborne, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, Bruce Willis, Carol King, Phoebe Snow, Paul Shaeffer, Mumbo Gumbo, Wally Ingram, Amy Grant, Leland Sklar, Willie Green, Bob Weir, Buddy Cage, Bernie Worrell, Chris Barron, The Holmes Brothers, Kevin Costner, and many many others
Jono Manson currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When he is not on the road, he continues to perform in area venues, but spends much of his time working on a wide range of projects in his recording studio, “The Kitchen Sink”, in Chupadero, NM
Edited by [deleted user] on 2 May 2009, 15:52
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