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Manito Park - 1991 Manito Park



ARTIST: Manito Park
ALBUM: Manito Park
LABEL: GC Inc. Records
SERIAL: BD 12378
YEAR: 1991

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dave Dupree - vocals, keyboards * Bob Burdett - guitars, vocals * Lars Ziemba - bass, vocals * Rusty Knorr - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bridge In Prelude * 02 Girl In Green * 03 Surrender * 04 One Last Look * 05 Like Forever * 06 Idaho Eyes * 07 Daydreamer * 08 Fool For Yesterday * 09 Oh Father * 10 Ariel * 11 Duet * 12 Down On Sunday * 13 Stumpy's Choice * 14 Send A Miracle * 15 Bridges Burning


Background
Back in the early 90's, a certain Mike Shannon, who many of you will remember from the Shades store in London, started up a mail order and distribution business. I remember seeing many of his mailouts and became a regular customer of his during that 1991-1995 period. One of the bands I remember seeing on those lists was an American band called Manito Park. The band were named after a famous 90 acre landmark in the city of Spokane Washington, a city park famous for its trees and plants. My guess (after an extensive Google search) is that the band members are all locals from the Spokane area. I hummed and hah'ed about whether to buy it. I continued to leave it off my orders, and the album was duly confined to the back of my wants-list for years, and it since became a rarity, much to my annoyance. Until now that is. Manito Park land safely in an area ear-marked as an AOR friendly zone.


The Songs
Listening to this I am reminded of bands such as Tradia, Riddler, Sing Sing, Outrider and Up All Night. As a privately released pressing, there are a heap of tracks here. Three are short and sweet ditties at under a minute, but the other twelve are a solid slices of AOR, with a bit of variation to keep things interesting. We'll look at a few of these tracks. Unusual that the intro piece and the last song 'Bridges Burning' are one and the same, though spaced apart by 50 minutes of music. Second up, and the Sing Sing comparison strikes home early on 'Girl In Green', a dense rocker with thick keys and aggressive guitars. The happy-go-lucky nature of 'Surrender' is a marked contrast. The band know how to churn out a heart-rendering ballad.. check out the soaring 'One last Look' which is the lighters-in-the-air moment of the album. The sweet acoustic guitar and tinkly pianos are glorious. 'Send A Miracle' is another ballad which has a CCM flavour to it. The change-up moment is the cow-poke acoustic send-up called 'Idaho Eyes'. This is one has obviously been written with humor in mind. Hilarious! Meanwhile, 'Oh Father' is a Poco/Firefall vocal workout that is harmony rich, even Sunday get-togethers at the local church would feel threatened by these boys! Those harmonies are amplified to HUGE on the AOR-tastic 'Ariel' - one of the best tracks here, while not far behind is another AOR killer in 'Like Forever'.


In Summary
Some excellent songs here, and worthy of inclusion here at this site. The band members did not appear to go on to anything substantial in the music industry, though Rusty Knorr has since moved on into the world of photography, while the others all still live locally in the Spokane area it would seem. Occasionally you will see this on Ebay going for big bucks, invest in it for keeps-sake.


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