Blue-in-Green:RADIO

Thursday, 29 October 2020

'Manifest' by Dragondeer


 

'Manifest' marks the fantastic new single from Denver, Colorado, four-piece Dragondeer through Color Red Records.


How can we continually express our adoration for the stunning music that comes out of Color Red?!  Well, funnily enough, 'Manifest' is indicative of several of the things that we love most about the label.  Their propensity for releasing stunning music from innovative funk and soul bands many of which has seen their stock continue to rise with awesome projects from Matador! Soul Sounds, ATOMGA and The New Mastersounds.  The label has become a hub of creativity and collaboration and just like the bluegrass collective, Head for the Hills, found inspiration in the afrobeat stylings of Fela Kuti earlier this year with the release of their single, 'Omotola', the blues-rock-soul collective that is Dragondeer credit as the inspiration for their current explosive and blissfully funk-filled number, John Coltrane.


Comprised of band members Eric Halborg on lead vocals, bassist Casey Sidwell, guitarist Cole Rudy and drummer Carl Sorensen, Dragondeer cap off an incredibly successful year that has also seen the release of some brilliant singles like the undeniable groove of 'Mirage à Trois', the funk-ier ode to Mary J with 'Stay High', the southern-esque 'All Day' and the sing-a-long nature to 'Max Patch'. 


Having developed something of a mild obsession with John Coltrane's 'Acknowledgement' from 'A Love Supreme' and the iconic "a love su-preme" motif that the song is built around, a rainy night in Denver, Colorado's, Cheeseman Park saw Halborg stumble onto the early incarnation of what would go on to become 'Manifest' through the creation of the chant “manifest the light, manifest tonight”.  Helping Dragondeer achieve their vision on this release is an inspired all-star line-up of musicians including Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds on guitar, the TNERTLE horn section including Leah Concialdi (baritone sax), Alice Hansen (trumpet) and Jon Kenney (trombone), Jordan Linit from Analog Son on guitar and Todd Stoops from RAQ on electric organ.


Clocking in at just under eight minutes, 'Manifest' is a glorious and anthemic number; a powerhouse afrobeat charge that generously allows each of the track's guests to shine while showcasing Dragondeer as another name now enshrined within Denver's rich tapestry of contemporary funk and soul.


An essay written in 2015 by jazz pianist Lewis Porter delved in to unravelling Coltrane's seminal piece of work.  He astutely cites that Coltrane's chant of "a love supreme" - a chant that is preceded by the very motif having been played by Coltrane throughout the song in various registers - acts as something of a "revelation" that God is everywhere and that by holding back the actual words until the song's closing moments, it comes with the realisation that faith is something that people discover for themselves at different times.


It would really be for Eric Halborg to comment upon what the "revelation" was that dawned upon him on that rainy night in Denver, Colorado, but for us, our joy lays in the manifestation of that discovery.


For more info on Color Red, please visit: https://www.color-red.co/


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