RICHARD MANUEL - Whispering Pines (2002)
Richard Manuel (1943 - 1986) was a Canadian composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a pianist and lead singer of The Band. He was a member of the original band from 1967 to 1976 and the re-formed band from 1983 until his death. Manuel's singing alternated between a soul-influenced baritone that drew frequent comparisons to Ray Charles and a delicate falsetto. Though The Band had three vocalists sharing lead and harmony parts, Manuel was often seen as the group's primary vocalist.
Whispering Pines: Live at the Getaway is a live recording by Canadian singer Richard Manuel, chronicling two intimate live shows Manuel performed at The Getaway, a nightclub in Saugerties, New York on October 12, 1985. Released in Japan in March 2002, it is the first solo release from Manuel, who, unlike his former mates from The Band never recorded a proper solo album. Leaning on Ray Charles numbers alongside songs he sang with The Band, songs he had known for upwards of twenty years, the performance is laid-back, like a concert for friends and wellwishers. Joining Manuel are Rick Danko and Jim Weider, both fellow members of The Band, and harmonica player Sredni Vollmer. The album was re-released in 2005 on the Canadian Other People's Music label, with an additional four tracks, though this version lacks the alternate version of "Georgia On My Mind" that had ended the original release. Among the bonus tracks is a loose jam that features Manuel's dog, Mitzi, screeching out a vocal line while The Band plays a blues line behind.
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