St. Louis, Missouri-based blues-rock outfit The Maness Brothers introduces their new album, God Bless The Maness Brothers, via Romanus Records. The official release date is July 4.
Talking about how the album came together, The Maness Brothers share, “God Bless The Maness Brothers was recorded late spring of 2019, at The St. Louis Recording Club. Carl Nappa was the actual blessing. He approached us about recording with him at his studio. He became our producer and engineer for the album. He was as invested in making a great record as the two of us. We had rehearsal at The Recording Club every night for two weeks before recording. Carl sat in on a few rehearsals with us. We recorded for over two weeks with Carl. We’ve achieved the best sounding The Maness Brothers record to date.”
They go on to add, “This record is closest to capturing our live sound as a studio record. Since the recording process we have toured across the United States. Up to Alaska, and across the pond to Europe. This record will be released summer 2020, 4th of July. During the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. We had missed seeing our friends in the midst of cancellations. All the support from the places we’ve been, from the people we’ve met along the way keeps us going. Thank you to all the people that’ve helped keep us going over the last decade.”
Super producer Carl Nappa has received both Grammy and Aria nominations as an engineer, mixer, and producer. He’s collected more than thirty Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum records, while working with artists and producers like Arif Mardin, Phil Ramone, Mutt Lange, Al Schmit, Elliot Scheiner, Alan Parsons, Ray Bardani, Jerry Brown, Teddy Riley, P Diddy, Wyclef Jean, Kevin Law, and Vincent Herbert. Nappa’s work with Nelly’s Derrty Entertainment, aka Nelly, aka Cornell Haynes Jr., made him a go-to producer for those in the know.
Real brothers, Jake and David Maness, blend elements of blues-rock, sludge, stoner, punk, and ‘hill country’ blues into a raw unique sound. They’ve shared the stage with Jon Spencer, Weedeater, Patrick Sweany, Scott H. Biram, Grim Reaper, Shawn James & The Shapeshifters, The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Hooten Hallers, James Leg, Mark “Porkchop” Holder & MPH, Left Lane Cruiser, King Mud, and Mothership, as well as performing at the 2018 Muddy Roots Music Festival with Sleep, High on Fire, Fu Manchu, and other first-rate artists.
Growing up, the brothers were immersed in music, and began jamming together early on, with Jake joining in with David’s band-of-the-moment in the basement. In 2012, the brothers decided to form their own band – The Maness Brothers.
Although the band revolves around Jake and David, an array of talented musicians accompanies the twosome in the studio and during live performances. God Bless The Maness Brothers includes Al Holiday, Irene Allen, Alex Sinclair, Kari Liston, and Maureen Sullivan.
Embracing 10-tracks, the album starts off with “Boreas,” opening on drifting bluesy flavors supported by finessed, crunching drums flowing into a dirty, grungy-laced melody full of visceral, abrasive textures. The track recalls ZZ Top, only grimier and more untreated. A muddy guitar solo injects searing licks, imbuing the tune with dark, murky coloration.
From a purely subjective point of view, highlights on the album include “Dip My Sins In The River,” traveling on oozing, viscous blues aromas fused with gospel savors. A fat rolling bassline and tightly popping snare give the rhythm a measured sliding surface, while a low-slung braying organ imbues lamenting tones.
“Drive Me” features a rasping a cappella intro segueing into a ragged, grub-filled Memphis blues melody, bleeding delicious mucky granularity. “I’m Gone” blends tangs of hardcore punk with boogiew-woogie blues into a harsh-textured song exuding rough-and-ready brio.
“Solid Gold Spine” generates memories of organ-laced Deep Purple amalgamated with primeval blues guitars, and then frappes in the austere minimalism of The White Stripes. The result is wickedly ferocious music, at once grinding and groaning.
With God Bless The Maness Brothers, The Maness Brothers strip away digital manipulation and deliver raw, organic blues full of galvanizing muscle.