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Popular Pioneer Valley singer-songwriter Frank Manzi’s upcoming eighth album title song “Whispers of Grace” tells about the challenges and reflections of life, especially life during the pandemic.
The 56-year-old artist wrote it when his father died of COVID-19 in March, and he was hospitalized for a month and a half with a fatal respiratory illness. He also got it and stayed in his father’s house-the family home near Springfield Forest Park, where Manzi and his four siblings grew up-to avoid exposing his family.
“Whispers of Grace is basically a song about not realizing how what you do will bring someone to the lowest point, but realizing at that moment that these things must change,” Manzi said.
“In the lyrics,’You still reach out to touch the good side of my face/I thought I heard you screaming in a slow and soft graceful whisper,” the characters were talking to themselves. This is not just a person. Grace can be forgiving oneself, moving on and changing. ”
He added: “I think a lot of people have experienced these things and realized that sometimes their good side is to reach out to their bad side. What they are doing needs to change, but they don’t realize that they need to pay. How much has changed.”
“I have seen a lot in my own life, and you will see people go through their own things,” Manz said. “I think the downtime of the pandemic gives people a little break to think about how I can change and take action.”
The death of his father brought the sale of the forest park, and Manzi, the youngest of his siblings, was inspired by the songs his Italian immigrant parents and their siblings would sing as well as the songs sung by his oldest siblings. Inspired. .
“Every holiday, every Christmas, every Easter, my parents and all my aunts and uncles will sing around the table,” Manz said. “Also, my brother John, before I joined the Marines in the fourth and fifth grades, he had two guitars at home. He would inspire me to play with him because he likes to coordinate with my uncle and my father. He really That made me fall in love with the guitar. Then I formed a band with the kids on the next street, so we were always playing when we were very young.”
He believes that his new record will be celebrated at the Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Friday, November 26th. This is the most “comfortably executed” record yet. It was recorded and mixed at SpiritHouse Music, a recording studio in western Massachusetts. With the introduction of the vaccine, and as COVID-19 cases began to decline in the country, six other musicians attended the 10-day conference in April, the first time in nearly two years.
“Sometimes we feel defeated in life for some reason. I’m sure that many people may have felt that way during this pandemic,” Manz said. “Making this record made me realize that we are still alive. We can get together, get the job done, and enjoy the process.”
“I have good friends who like music. My whole family likes music. I will play with them from time to time,” Manz said. “If I had a bad day, I can do something to release that tension. Anyway, I like the whole process, no matter how long it takes, it will be eternal to me.”
Since 1991, Manzi has released a solo record every few years. He believes that the “whisper of grace” messages around love, forgiveness and new beginnings are attractive to generations. Its nine songs include the evocative but modern “My Father’s Land” co-authored with long-time collaborator Donnie Moorhouse, whose sound is reminiscent of Springsteen, and the equally modern “Changing Times”.
“There is an honesty in the lyrics we wrote,” Manz said. “They must be to evoke feelings, so we can continue the process passionately. This is not an insensitive thing.”
He added that Moorhouse’s “Just to Hear You Breathe”, from Manzi’s “Bright Corners of the World” recording, is still a popular digital download all year round.
In addition to Manzi, lead singer and acoustic guitar, the new album’s musicians also include Adam Steinberg, electric guitar and acoustic guitar; Keith Levreault, drums; Danny Bernini, bass; Paul McNamara, keyboard; Laura Manzi, John Manzi and Tony Gandelli, background harmony.
“Danny plays bass throughout the record, and usually he plays behind the board,” Manz said. “He played live with the rest of us, carefully choreographing some beautiful and intense musical transitions, and I think these transitions highlight most of the songs in this release.”
Manzi’s other recordings include “One Horse Town” in 1991; “Little Boy” in 1993; “Going Home” in 1997; “Between the Two” in 2001; “National Anthem” in 2003; and “Bright Corners of the World” in 2007 “; 2016 “Sunday Dinner” and 2020 “Beco Conference”.
The “Sunday Dinner” release shows the expanded Manzi family in a multi-generational show in Northampton, and “Anthem” is a musical that Manzi wrote 18 songs for and performed at the Majestic Theatre in West Springfield. His non-traditional releases also include a 2018 recording in Budapest with the help of pianist Roberto Esposito’s Chris Scyocurka. Manzi met him for the first time during his visit to Italy and helped him Toured here, played the piano concerto “Fantastico”.
Manzi has worked in construction and taught woodworking for many years, and is now in charge of supervising students interested in these industries in the “After Dark Program” at Springfield High School of Technology.
The Gateway City Arts conference starts at 8pm (doors open at 7pm), and part of the ticket sales that night will benefit the Greater Springfield Mental Health Association. Through its accommodation and support services, MHA helps people affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, and homelessness.
Manzi provided entertainment for MHA welfare earlier this summer and said that he was deeply impressed by the hope that MHA offers through its shows.
“Ultimately, I think that when things get tough, you have to turn things around, but MHA will provide guidance and help you achieve your goals,” said Manzi, who saw the emotion of the pandemic and its isolation requirements for students. loss. “Not everyone is aware of the role of MHA, and it is a good thing to make people aware of it.”
“Children in school, the organization must immediately figure out how to change in order to move on,” Manzi said. “When something like this happens, you can do what you can, but it also helps. I hope you realize that helping is a good thing. If you can, accept it and cooperate with others.”
Kimberley Lee, Vice President of Resource Development and Branding at MHA, said that MHA would like to thank you very much for your recognition and support.
“When you have a singer and songwriter like Frank with a very loyal following, organizations like MHA will respect and thank him for his willingness to use his platform in such a positive and constructive way,” Li said. “He He is using his talents to allow the community to communicate around a very important piece of information that can help and allow us to reach more people we might not be able to reach.”
The ticket to the release party is $20. For more information, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/frank-manzi-tickets-175868265717?aff=ebdssbeac
The venue requires a vaccination certificate. Anyone who participates must bring their vaccination card or a photo, and the corresponding state or federal ID to enter. Entry results with negative COVID test results will not be accepted. The mask must be worn at all times and can only be taken off when eating or drinking.
“Whispers of Grace” will provide streaming and digital download distribution on multiple platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube on December 1.
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Post time: Nov-16-2021