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Dave Manning

Tickets: Music only £4.00 Music and meal deal £23.50

Talking Points for staff:
--He's actually played in Folsom Prison. No he wasn't an inmate.
--Like Tom Waits and Jerry Lee Lewis rolled into one....

The first time you see Dave Manning, you may be cursing him in vain. He'll be puttering into town soon at his customary 50 miles per hour, so you may be stuck behind him wondering. Wondering why he's going so slow? "I drive the same old VW bus I bought when I was 17. It's all stock, and likes to cruise at about 50." Manning says. "It was designed right after WWII, when life was slower." To say Manning is "old school" or "a hippie" is an understatement. He makes his living driving from town to town, playing music and living out of his VW bus. "When I first quit my day-job and went on the road full-time it was to support playing music. Now I play music to support living on the road." That road takes Manning all over. He tours all over the rocky mountain states, and in Europe. "New for this year, I have a VW bus based in England, and my trusty '65 that I leave here in the states." He finds playing in other countries more similar than different. "The good news is, everywhere I go I find great people. People willing to share what they have, whether it's a little or a lot. We already have world peace. We just need to get the governments out of the way."

 For Manning, living (and driving) slowly comes naturally. "There's a billion dollar industry out there telling us we can't be happy until we go faster, spend more, get connected! The thing is, they are selling us a lie. For me, happiness comes with going slower, spending less, and connecting with those around me in the moment." 

That's what Manning sets out to do every time he gets on stage. "It is harder now, people are so used to instant gratification from the smart phone in their pocket, but it's hollow." Manning sees himself as the opposite of that; singing the truth of the human experience. "I can't tell them 'shut up and listen,' they hear that all the time from media. But when they look up for a few seconds; when they see the expression on my face, the look in my eye, and hear the emotion in my voice, they get something that they won't find in their phones. Just a real person, in the moment, humble, expressing the wonder, the joy and mystery of living on earth." "Authentic" is a word Manning gets sometimes. "I suppose that's true, I am just me, writing songs about my life, my loves, and singing the cover tunes that really resonate with me."

Manning picked the wrong instrument for his lifestyle. "I started playing the piano because it was so heavy. A piano is 500 pounds of wood and steel that resonate under the touch of my fingers; an amazing feeling." 500 pounds of wood and steel in a VW bus? "I wish every club had a piano. And I do perform on a real piano whenever I can, even if it isn't perfectly tuned." For the other gigs, it's his trusty keyboard. "I've had it since '99. Now it's getting to be like my bus, an old friend that helps me along the way."

Manning's style is hard to pin down, as are his influences. His voice carries the gruff, working man sound of Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen. "But I'm also inspired by the silky voices of the crooners, the New Orleans piano sound, and the rocking boogie woogie of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis." At gigs folks alomst get a two for one. A raunchy boogie about drinking beer is followed by a smooth, tender rendition of a jazz classic. "I play the songs that inspire me. BB King said 'the blues is truth.' and that's what I play, whether it's blues or not."