Today's highlighted Madison musical act is Bob Manor & The Getaway Drivers.
Backed by a close-knit band dubbed the Getaway Drivers, singer-songwriter Bob Manor offers an alt-country-ish mix of acoustic rock and folk in both his records and live performances. Americana, as the terminology goes. Performing on average about once per month, the group has been busy lately with shows related to tomorrow's mid-term elections.
More about Manor and his drivers are detailed in their registry biography:
If you like rockin Americana with a touch of alt country twang you very well might fall in love with this band. Gritty enough to be authentic, Bob Manor writes honest -- from the hip -- songs and The Getaway Drivers bring them to life as each requires - be it a hard driving rock tune or a tender ballad.
Bob Manor is Bob Manor. He plays guitar, writes the songs and sings.
The Getaway Drivers, meanwhile, consists of Manor, Ellie Erickson (guitars), Steve Pingry (cello, guitar), and Ken Keeley (Bass), along with assistance from Peter Fee (drums), Gail Campbell (drums), and Sheila Shigley (vocals, violin, cello).
In 2005, Manor unveiled his latest solo album, Ghosts of Yesterday. Released by Uvulittle Records, the album is a suite of original songs featuring the acoustic guitar, bass, drums, piano and mandolin. Its stand-out track, "The Sweetness," won Best Americana Song at the 2006 Madison Area Music Award, while the album was also nominated for best Folk/Americana release at this year's MAMAs. Meanwhile, a review of the song "Stuck," the ninth track on the album, is described by one reviewer as a "a pleasant tune about the doldrums of life in a small town."
Ghosts? was preceded by That Gospel Line
As a kid I attended an old country church on a dirt road in Northern Wisconsin, and got my start on piano and vocals there. Recently my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. I thought it was time give them something back for all the love and support they have given me over the years. I dedicated "That Gospel Line" to them and to the people in the church I grew up in.
Manor and the Getaway Drivers are now working on a follow-up album to Ghosts of Yesterday.
The band's MySpace page features three songs from that album. They are: "The Sweetness," "Wrecking Ball, and "John Baker's Toil," along with samples of other songs. Other information, including a list of previous shows, photos, and reviews are available at bobmanor.com.
Bob Manor & the Getaway Drivers perform at many benefit concerts, such as one in late July for the teen self-injury documentary by Wendy Schneider titled CUT. Their performance in that show was described as "really cookin' (as per usual)" by their friend Pam Barrett of the Motor Primitives. The last week has been no different.
On Monday, Oct 30, Manor and the Drivers played the High Noon Saloon at a benefit for Fair Wisconsin, the state-wide group organizing against the proposed amendment to Wisconsin's constitution that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. Featuring appearances from elected officials like Russ Feingold speaking against the amendment, the show was praised on the band's blog:
The audience of freethinkers, dignitaries and fellow musicians had sat transfixed in the dusky saloon as The Getaway Drivers scorched through songs of fire and ice, love and loss, sweetness and destruction, the stage transformed into a whirlwind of flesh, steel, weathered wood and determination.
The band will be at it again on Tuesday night, when they will be playing an Election Night returns gathering at the High Noon Saloon. The show starts at 6 p.m., and the cover is $5, as the band gets things going for a night of TV and drinking, be it is sorrow or celebration.
This is the latest featured entry from the Madison Music Project, an online database of Madison-area musicians. Please register or update your current profile on the project for consideration in these highlights.