6/11/16: Aside from reviewing local music and writing graphic novel reviews I also record original music with my friend, Danny Manzella as Forever Green. We just released a new song called 8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush which I am really proud of. Originally a duo, Dan and I like to have our good friends come down to contribute parts to our original songs. It's interesting to hear them play along and it makes the entire recording experience that much more fun as they add their unique talents to our music. I would like to recognize everyone's contributions to the song as well as Dan's unique vocals and Mike's outstanding drumming. Great Job and Thank You!
8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush has a simple basic track so we agreed that there was plenty of room for soloing and improvisation from our friends.
Here's the breakdown of guest stars and what they added to the final mix.
My old friend, Jack Branka, agreed to play electric guitar as I played acoustic guitar on the original session. Jack played guitar in my first band so I thought it would a great idea to have him come down and play. He played awesome and his rhythm/lead guitar work is heard prominently in the mix. As I listened to the first few takes of the song I thought it would be great to have a female vocal singing along somewhere in the mix. Jenelle Duguay agreed to sing and her outstanding vocals add alot to the overall sound of the song. Brian Pond added some really cool sounds with his wah-wah lead guitar. Last but not least, good friends Tommy Leach Jr. contributed a sweet sounding lead bass solo and Justin Leach added a fourth lead guitar. Their playing comes into the song later around the 6 minute mark or so. Mike Boncaldo mixed and mastered the song which will be on a new Forever Green CD sometime soon. We hope you enjoy listening to the song as much as we enjoyed playing on it.
If you want to hear the 8 1/2 foot Ganja Bush song here is a direct link to it through our Reverbnation music page https://www.reverbnation.com/forevergreen2/song/26079670-8-12-foot-ganja-bush
Facebook music page link https://www.facebook.com/Forever-Green-557646644428742/
Thanks for listening and any comments are welcome.
Update 4/14/16: Big Thank you to All Music & All Bands for the fantastic review of 10 Years In The Baking...
"10 Years In The Baking"
This acoustic Americana duo are Danny Manzella - All Lyrics, Lead Vocals, Harmonica, and Joe Tell - Guitars and Bass, with a host of guest players who helped bring this cool menagerie together. Danny also plays with 55 Main, The Lost Riders band and Jimmy Munt and friends. Other seasoned musicians on this disc are: Tony Chimera on Percussion; Vince Mastrantonio (The Vincent James Explosion, Carina & The Six String Preacher) - Producer; Brian Pond - Lead Guitar; Tommy Leach Jr. - Bass; Justin Leach - Lead Guitar (both from the River Rocks band), and Mike Boncaldo (Chunkpipe) - Drums. Special guest Rob Loiacano on Eggshaker for Melody For Maria. These various musicians make appearances and lend their talents to this 16-song debut CD, with some remoxed material from their first EP, with many interesting additions.
Getting it all going is "Senorita", going for an old-west type sound, like an outlaw and a Mex that's not enough, Tommy Leach Jr. is laying down solid bass. Drums are supplied by Mike Boncaldo. It's a story of a man in love with someone, whose father doesn't approve. The first verse says it all, "I know a girl Mariana, her presence set me afire, her flame was like the night, full of lust and desire. She walked from the canteena, from there I was under her spell, to me she seemed like an angel, could it been the wishing well. One night her Papa saw me creeping out the door. He screamed, I'll kill you señor, you won't see my daughter no more. She looked out from the window. She screamed: 'No Papa, No.' He came a-runnin' at me, now Papa run no more." The chorus here is sung like a serenade! "Empty Room Jump", actually a darker tune than one might realize, written about a man whose girl ain't comin' back. Tommy's brother Justin Leach is an incredible lead guitarist, and it's quite evident in his solo. Tony Chimera has his infectious percussion going. We love the guitar, which brings a fresh sound.
Just a simple ballad with a certain feel, "A Girl's Name", and one of their very first recordings as a band, is an acoustic-laden track. The singing and lyrics are emotional, "Sometimes I can't stop a tear from falling up in eye, cause I can't help it baby, I feel for you. I can't help the poor, not every single poor man I know, but I can try to do my part, each day, by and by."
"She Left" features Brian Pond laying down a superb groove, with Dan hopping in and improving the tune with some harp. Tony is chugging along with his style of bongos and various other percussion instruments. Love the mellow vibe and simplicity. Danny sings with passion and right from the soul. Strumming rock, upbeat acoustic and furious singing is how "Saw A Rose", kicks off and continues. It's definitely one of our favorites. It tells a tale of disillusionment over a relationship gone south. "Saw a rose, was not red, saw a rose, was not red. The place we sleep at night, is just our bed. See at night it's just our house, ain't no love nest baby, it's just our house, just a husband, just a spouse. Blue I feel is all around, when you shout and scream and try to run me out I think we know, Lord we just don't save. Go on and with it babe, there after day. Yeaaa!"
Clean with pleasant sounding acoustic guitar begins "I'd Find My Way". It's mixed in a slightly different vocal track. It conveys a feeling of sitting around and jamming, and having a great time. "When You're Near Me" is a slower, more soothing tune, with its harmonica, bongos, and fine bass lines by Tommy Leach Jr. Vocals here are lower toned, yet still powerful. We truly enjoyed the music, singing, and all the other elements cleverly placed, making it another one of our favorites. The chorus "Cause it's you and me babe, I get the feeling it will always be. Yea, it's you and me babe, when you're near me I feel free", are lyrics that bring a warm, loving feeling, and such a positive vibe. Enjoying the harmonica and pleasant chords on "To See You Again" (one of their older songs) was performed live, but was never recorded or released until now.
A well-written and performed guitar intro pushes us into "Waves". Written about many different kinds of waves, it's an older song, which was a task to sing live for Danny. Powerful guitar strumming and more fantastic vocals again here. It's the duo at its finest! It's a slightly different version than the live one on their debut, with no percussion.
A rockabilly and country blending makes for a cool mix for the theme behind "Greener Pastures". Again, it's another of their older classics from the early days. In between the verses, a mean harmonica plays out.
"Horse Behind The Plow Blues", is a simple blues tune the band keeps coming back to. Playing alongside them on Lead Guitar is Brian, another appearance by Mike on Drums and we can't keep Tony away from adding his talent!
"Final Wish Before Goodbye" is a song written about an indecisive man trying to determine where his relationship stands. Slowed up, with ringing guitar and vocals, and the harmonica was brought out for the occasion.
In "Fall Down Blues", Danny's singing his lungs out with lines like, "If you look at me and told me you wish I was dead, I'd still love you baby, I'm like that in the head"; and then, "a trip up the country thought would do us good. Instead treats me like a dummy made out of wood". He showcases his soulful and bluesy voice, and sings with heart. Acoustic guitar, uptempo rhythm and incredible vocals really make this a fun song to listen to. If you love Folk/Americana rock then this is your jam! We enjoyed the lyrics, speaking of going out to country, just to get away and clear the mind. It was their first song recorded as a band, and used to kick off a few of their shows too; it's the one that started it all.
One of Joe Tell's all-time faves is "Old Dead Flea Blues", describing an acid-drenched trip through the Everglades. With aggressive guitar that has attitude, an unexpected change to a bluesy-based bridge keeps the ears intrigued.
Talk about an old school vibe, "Exactly What You Did" does exactly that, sounding as if it's being played on an antique turntable, with all it's perfect imperfections. The mood that comes to mind is of being in the swamps and hanging on the porch, and is the finest of the blues! Standard beat, harmonica and gritty vocals are featured here.
Concluding this awesome release is an instrumental written by Joe, dedicated to his wife, "Melody For Maria." The track was produced by Vincent Mastrantonio (Vincent James Explosion, Carina & The Six String Preacher), Joe Tell is featured on Lead Guitar with yours truly on the eggshaker.
Thanks to Joe for providing this CD for review and giving us the opportunity to share great new music, with powerful lyrics and vocals! Please visit their Reverbnation site or CDbaby.com for information on the band, their music, and upcoming events.
"Empty Room Jump"
"A Girl's Name"
"Saw A Rose"
"I'd Find My Way"
"When You're Near Me"
"To See You Again"
"Horse Behind The Plow Blues"
"Final Wish Before Goodbye"
"Fall Down Blues"
"Old Dead Flea Blues"
"Exactly What You Did"
"Melody For Maria"
Update 3/26/16: Forever Green - self titled - EP review
Forever Green is a musical collaboration between musicians Dan Manzella and Joe Tell and the title of their new five song EP. Treading territory somewhere between Father John Misty and Hot Tuna the album is a stripped down affair with most tracks feature just guitar, bass and vocals with the occasional harmonica or percussion. "Fall Down Blues" and "When You're Near Me" are straight up acoustic blues numbers while "I'd Find My Way" is a slow ballad and "Joey's Song" an instrumental is almost in the realm of psychedelic mysticism with its experimental sounds. Rounding out the album is "Waves" a track that was recorded live at the Tudor Lounge. For more information about Forever Green visit them on the web at www.reverbnation.com/forevergreen2
Review By Bob Silvestri http://www.bestofwny.com/
Thank You Bob!
Update 3/3/16 Forever Green to be continued!
What a great time tonight with our special guests Joe Tell and Danny Manzella. A big thanks to Linda Hastreiter for giving us the scoop on our upcoming benefit Variety Show on March 11th at and for The Iron Island Museum. Download the show and take a listen. We guarantee you will giggle.
Update 2/15/16: Forever Green would like to thank Rob from the All Music/All Bands Facebook/Reverbnation music site for reviewing the Forever Green EP. Thank you Rob!
Here's the complete review...
Forever Green "Forever Green" CD Review
This two piece Folk, Acoustic based band out of the WNY area is made up of Danny Manzella (55 Main and The Lost Riders Band) - Lead Vocals, Harmonica, and Joe tell - Acoustic & Electric Guitar. Guiseppe Tell is listed as playing Bass. The CD features guest musicians, Vincent Mastrantonio ( The Vincent James Explosion, Carina & The Six String Preacher ) - Lead Guitar / Keyboards on Joey's song, Tommy Leach Jr. - Bass on When You're Near Me, and Tony Chimera ( 55 Main ) - Bongos, percussion on When You're Near Me.
Really enjoyed the first track, "Fall Down Blues". Danny's singing his lungs out with lines like "If you look at me and told me you wish I was dead, I'd still love you baby, I'm like that in the head" and especially on "A trip up the country thought would do us good. Instead treats me like a dummy made out of wood". A very soulful and bluesy voice and sings with heart. The acoustic guitar, up tempo rhythm and incredible vocals really make this a fun song to listen too. If you love folk / Americana rock this is for you then. I enjoyed the lyrics, telling the story of going out to country, just to get away and clear the mind.
"When You're Near Me" is a slower and soothing tune, with it's harmonica, bongos, and fine bass lines by Tommy Leach Jr. The vocals are lower toned, yet still powerful. I truly enjoyed the music, singing, and all the other elements added, making it one off my favorites. The chorus "Cause it's you and me babe, I get the feeling it will always be. Yea, it's you and me babe, when you're near me I feel free" are lyrics that bring a warm and loving feeling. Such a positive vibe. Clean and a pleasant sounding acoustic guitar begin
"I'd Find My Way". Mixed in slightly different vocal track. This track gives me the feeling of sitting around and jamming, just enjoying life.
"Joey's Song" is an instrumental dedicated to Joe's son Joseph. A precisely played guitar, the sound is perfectly clear, you can hear every note ring out, along with a low siren sound in the background is the first part that segues into a strumming guitar and thumping bass. To close it out, they have a special guest Vince Mastrantonio play an incredible guitar solo. Some sweeping and bending of notes on the neck and frets, shows why he is one of the best around.
"Waves" is a live song that gives you a taste of what this band is about. Acoustic, vocals, and a bongo all make a cool song. The energy is positive and gives a soothing feeling. This CD is just a sample from the band. They are working and finishing up their new disc.
Thanks to Joe for sending in the CD. Really loved listening to it! For more on the band, music, please visit Reverbnation or their cdbaby page.
Tracklist: "Fall Down Blues' ( 2007) "When You're Near Me" "I 'd Find My Way ( Vocal Remix ) "Joey's Song" ( Dedicated to Joseph Jacob Militello ) "Waves" - live Tudor Lounge 03/04/12
Thank You Rob!
Update 1/28/16 Forever Green on The Patsy Silver and Dottie Kenney Variety Show
What a wonderful conversation with the talented Joe Tell and Maria today. A huge thanks to Ed Honek, Editor of Nightlife Magazine, for giving us the scoop on the Nightlife Music Awards. So clickity click the link, download it and enjoy!
12/23/15: Forever Green has (finally!) released a 5 song EP. This release includes a couple of alternate mixes that can only be heard on this CD. The first song, Fall Down Blues, was the first song Forever Green recorded and Joey's Song is the last song Joe Tell recorded. The second song, When You're Near Me, is a alternate version that will not be included on the full length release. I'd Find My Way is another alternate mix that uses all 3 versions of Dan's vocal tracks to create a very unique vocal sound. A second guitar can be faintly heard, this is a unplugged electric guitar which came through the vocal mic during one of Dan's vocal performances. Joey's Song was recorded by Vincent James. Vince is a master musician and he owns Music City Buffalo, one of, if not the best, music stores in Buffalo, NY. I must add that I was slightly intimidated recording with Vince because he is so talented, luckily I got over it and made it through. The guitar tuning on this track was created especially for this song and all the ethereal enhancements were added by Vince. Waves is a live track that Dan wanted to include on the EP. Dan's vocal talent really talent shines through on Waves. Tony Chimera played the bongos on Waves. EP Artwork was created by Cheryl and Dan Manzella and Joe Tell. This EP was meant to be a teaser in advance of a full length CD which will be released in 2016.
Update 3/14/15: Forever Green is proud to have been chosen as a finalist in the Artvoice BOOM (Battle Of Original Music)! We are glad to be recognized for our music and very happy to see our picture in the Artvoice newspaper. The best thing about it is our music is being heard by a larger audience.
Danny Manzella and I are writing music together again as Forever Green with the help of producer Mike Boncaldo of Ansley Court and Chunkpipe? fame.
Forever Green has also enlisted the top shelf help of Tony Chimera on bongos from 55 Main and Tommy Leach Jr. on 5 string bass from River Rocks.
Forever Green has released 2 live original tracks, "Waves" and "Old Dead Flea Blues" from the famed Tudor Lounge in Buffalo, NY with special guest Tony Chimera on bongos.
Big thanks goes out to Bruce Markwardt for recording us. Thanks Dad!
3 new originals have also been written, recorded and released, "When You're Near Me", "I'd Find My Way" and the 6 minute opus "Seniorita". Our love for the blues produced "Exactly What You Did" kept lo-fi on purpose. Dan and I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to our music!
8/24/2011 Update: Forever Green is Now on Reverbnation!
Thank You for posting the videos Sue & Cheryl!
Forever Green is an acoustic duo Dan & I put together to express our love for music.
logo by Dan the Man.