John McManus' musical spark was lit when he saw Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on MTV when he was 13 years old. By the time he transferred to Penncrest High School sophomore year in 1995 he was an art major and the following year took a guitar class. Ever since he has been invested in his creative and artistic personality and goals. Recording in 2003 in just ten sessions, Side One contained five original songs. John produced the five song CD. Side One was released on February 20, 2004. Since the release of Side One, John has been played and has guest hosted WSTW's Hometown Heroes with Mark Rodgers. The Platform of Our Lives and To Your Own Surprise from Side One have both been played on the show. John has also been booked and has performed in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Recently, The Platform of Our Lives was selected as a winner of a songwriting contest by independent label Realize Records. Paul Lewis is recording the song for his next CD. The Belle Sessions---John's 14 song, 54-minute follow up----was written and recorded over the span of four years. Not only does The Belle Sessions contain far more sophisticated instrumentation---the addition of electric guitars, percussion and vocals by Emily Rawson---it also contains advanced production. But what the listener takes away from The Belle Sessions is the evolution of John's songwriting. This CD contains far more images in it's lyrics and changes in melody. The Belle Sessions is an intimate and moving portrait of a relationship in three stages: falling in love, losing love and finding yourself. Produced by John McManus and Steven LaFashia, The Belle Sessions is the CD John has always wanted to and always knew he could make. Influenced by a range of artists such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Smashing Pumpkins, Ryan Adams, Wilco, and U2, John strived to find his own artistic direction and voice.
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