Saturday, June 24, 2006

Meet the Manring Brothers

My son's a budding bass guitarist, so my wife and I took him to Picker's Supply, a local music store here in Fredericksburg, VA where he takes lessons, to see a sort of impromptu concert today. The performers were Doug Manring, and his younger brother Michael. Doug plays in several bands in the area and teaches guitar at Picker's, and Michael is an accomplished musician based now in California.

All I can say is, "wow".

Doug started the show with three tunes. During these songs, I don't think he once picked or strummed his guitar. He used a different guitar for each piece. During "Storm Watch", "Continuance" and "Thank You", Doug didn't so much play the instrument as force it to do his bidding. He coaxed, cajoled, persuaded and occasionally slapped the guitar to make it produce sounds it would never make for anybody else.

Doug then handed the stage over to Michael. We were able to only stay for two of his songs, but what an experience. Michael's specialty is electric bass, and during those songs, each played with a different fretless bass, we were treated to sounds I never even knew a bass guitar could make. Absolutely amazing.

These guys must be from another human can play like that.

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