Barbara Manning and the Go-Luckys! - "On Starry Night at the Shop" (Swamp Room Records 2003, Nr. 3868-21, LP)

From Aural Innovations #24 (July 2003)

I'd never heard of California based Barbara Manning prior to receiving this LP, but anything on the Swamp Room label causes me to sit up and take notice. A look at her web site indicates a sizable discography spanning numerous bands and seemingly endless compilation contributions and various collaborations. While her bio indicates a past that includes psychedelia, the music on this live set recorded in 2001 is mostly characterized by accessible song-oriented rock with elements of folk and a bit of a garage rock edge. I enjoyed Manning's poet/folk-rock vocal style with the harder edged indie-rock backing of the Go-Luckys. The band is a guitar/bass/drums trio with Fabrizio Steinbach on guitars and bass and Flavio Steinbach on drums rounding out the band. I tended to enjoy the punkier songs like "Scissors", "Buds Won't Bud", "Pages Turn", and the most ballsy track of the album, "Don't Neglect Yourself", all of which feature bashing guitars and Manning's vocals being less folky and more raw rock animated. Overall it's a nice set, and while a cover of Bevis Frond's "Stain On The Sun" is the Go-Luckys only real venture into psychedelia, several of the songs have a garage rock edge that brings the music somewhat into the psych realm. In any event, the hosts of the annual Swamp Room Happening festival felt compelled to invite Manning to join the lineup at the 2003 fest in June. I'll have to check out some of her back catalog. Also note that the LP is pressed on the usual beautiful vinyl picture disc that Swamp Room does so well.

For more information you can visit the Barbara Manning web site at:
One Starry Night At The Shop is distributed by Swamp Room Records. You can visit their web site at:
Email them at and ask for a copy of their mail order catalog.
Contact via snail mail c/o Swamp Room Records; Postfach 5663; 30056 Hannover; Germany.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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