manraygun expertly weaves moody lyrics with memorable melodies.
The band doesn’t so much walk the tightrope between roots rock and
alt country but swing from it, never letting the listener know where
they’ll land from one tune to another.
Peter North, Edmonton Journal
These are songs grounded in vintage rock,
early Springsteen to the Clash, idealistic working class rock
and its cathartic stories of loss, losers and endurance.
…unapologetically expansive and ambitious.
…a blend of dark folk ballads and twisting narratives about magpies and
circus freaks… Otis Redding, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and Hank Williams…
you can hear each of these influences at work in manraygun’s songs,
and not always in the ways you’d expect.
Misfortune is to passion as cigarettes are to coffee – maybe not an essential component, but one that deepens the experience. The twelve tracks that comprise manraygun's debut full-length CD "Misfortune Telling" are unabashedly melancholic – decidedly tragic – but at the same time also a crafted shout-out of hope to the despairing. There's a silver lining to every murder ballad. A puffy cloud formed of smokestack exhale.
In the words of VUE magazine's Eden Munro, calling manraygun an alt-country band would be doing the group a severe disservice. Sure, they're willing to flourish pedal steel-like sounds, or stoke the drive of a Tennessee Three train, but on "Misfortune Telling" the band rocks where necessary, and coos when needed – summoning the swagger of Exile-on-Main Street era Stones one minute, the strangely graceful stagger of a drunken sailor next. Most importantly, beneath the loads of reverb-laden guitars, doghouse bass and thump there are the words.
dennis l: a veteran of edmonton's original punk scene, dennis played bass and sang for the cause with the malibu kens and the love mongers before discovering hair pomade with the draggnetts, then founding the dusty chaps with the right reverend rockin' roland of jerry jerry and the sons of rhythm orchestra fame.
recently he traded in his stand-up bass for an acoustic guitar, using it to write dusted-up lullabies while noodling with drum loops. manraygun is his first ensemble without the word ‘the’ in it.
everett l: everett was a founding member of roots-pop outfits route 66 and idyl tea, who landed a major label record deal with attic in the ‘90s. more recently, he’s toured this great land, from railway club to horseshoe tavern, in support of his highly-acclaimed self-titled solo release. in addition, everett has made music for movies, studied early frontier music, and also moonlights with darrek anderson and the guaranteed.
steve l: steve is the son of a carpenter. his croon is well-seasoned by american spirits and alberta springs rye whiskey, and he plays hockey just so he can kick your ass. a relative newcomer to the world of live music and songwriting, steve has nonetheless managed to keep both everett and dennis on their toes with his seemingly intuitive knack for rough hewn melodies and deeply felt lyrics.
silas g: silas drumbs for the james t. kirks whenever that cross-provincial instrumental band gets together. He also drumbs for the whitsundays, fat dave crime wave, and johnny ninetynine. whew. he’s also put in time with the likes of the brewtals, black market inc., knee jerks, rickety hips, and myspace sensations, gay aa. blessed with a multitude of talents, silas has extended himself into stage and screen, including a musical role in playwright trevor anderson’s acclaimed production of "tunnels of little chicago" at the varscona theatre.
tom m: tom “plays bass like a northside lilydale plucker”. his close to decade long stint with the unkillable dub-country rock machine that is old reliable has overshadowed other successful locals bands he's been a part of, which include indie rockers pal joey and mutated mods kentucky church bus. he's backed richard buckner at the edmonton folk fest, and almost knocked over dennis quaid's beer at SxSW in austin. tom has toured so many times across the country that he's on speaking terms with the giant canada goose statue in lundar, manitoba. he doesn't drink beer, which likely has the other members of manraygun rubbing their hands with glee at a sober pilot for the end of the night, but what they've yet to find out is that tom murray also doesn't drive - he is driven.
Dennis Lenarduzzi Guitar, Vocals
Everett Laroi Guitar, Vocals
Steve Lenarduzzi Guitar, Vocals
Tom Murray Bass
Silas Locke Drumbs