03.01.06

Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. Solo Debut Album Coming This Fall On Cordless Recordings

Roger Joseph Manning Jr., co-founder of critically acclaimed bands Jellyfish, Moog Cookbook and Imperial Drag, will release his solo album this fall on Cordless Recordings. This will be precluded by a three-song “cluster,” available May 2nd. Also respected as one of pop music’s most sought-after session keyboard players (including Beck, Air, Green Day and Sheryl Crow), MANNING blends colorful melodies with rich harmonies and creative arrangements to convey themes of innocence, fantasy and the ups and downs of romance. MANNING will perform songs from the album at SxSW at the Cordless Recordings showcase, Friday, March 17th at the Pecan Street Ale House in Austin.

An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, MANNING wrote, performed and sang every note on his solo debut, which he produced in his Los Angeles studio, aptly named “Stu-Stu-Studio.” The tracks were then mixed and mastered by John Paterno, whose credits include Badly Drawn Boy, The Thrills and Robbie Williams.

MANNING says the project’s seed was planted during the summer of 2000 while he and his girlfriend were moving into a new home. “I unpacked and rediscovered various demo tapes of original songs that spanned the course of my musical journey from my days in college up to the present. I almost started to cry at the thought of so many of these precious ideas never seeing the light of day simply because I didn't have the right band vehicle assembled to execute them. ‘Screw it,’ I thought, ‘I'll just get started and work them up even if nobody but myself ever hears them. I have to see what they're going to look like in 3D,’ so to speak.”

MANNING’s solo effort was created while he kept active with his session work, which now extends to film soundtracks ("Lost In Translation," “Spiderman,” “Dukes of Hazzard”), TV commercials (Best Buy) and cable TV (Comedy Central, VH-1, MTV’s “Meet The Barkers”). MANNING explains that “off and on for the next four years, I sculpted away one lyric or overdub when I found the time and assembled my first batch of eleven solo original ideas, totally executed by myself in my studio.”

The first cluster of downloadable music will feature three diverse tracks from his full-length. “Too Late For Us Now” is a vibrant pop song about a repentant lover seeking forgiveness, “Sandman” is a dream-inspired tale featuring an elaborate vocal arrangement, while “The Land Of Pure Imagination” is a magical six-minute opus recounting a one-way journey into an otherworldly realm of no return. The song ascends from subtle, waltz-like verses to dynamic rock choruses.

Looking ahead, MANNING is producing a series of “video podcasts” that will be shot around his studio to document how the album was made. These vignettes will be available online starting May ’06.