Photography by Teresa Callicutt
By Cj Matthews
In late March a good friend of mine shared a MP3 with me along with a text that read something along the lines of “you need to work with this guy”. And that’s how we picked this month’s music project. When you listen to Tony Manard, you can tell he has been listening to storytellers his whole life.
Come to find out, Tony’s influences range from the Rolling Stones to Hank Williams and everywhere in between. When you listen to a Song sung by him, you can easily hear Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, or maybe one of the many outlaw or southern rock icons making their way to the mic. Tony’s songs are stories- little pieces of his life that have been put to music.
The Songs Tony writes reflect life as he sees it in the biggest small town ever- Memphis, Tennessee. Tony strongly believes that living in the South most of his life has had a great influence on his voice and the way his songs are written. Add to the mix cynical humor and some folk twang, and you start to see and hear his version of the truth through his songs.
Tony released an collection of original tracks in November of 2014 titled “Nothing I Want To Talk About”, a collection of songs that tell his stories, and for all their simplicity, they totally hit the mark. The follow up was a recently released album called “Sedan DeVille: Season 1”. This album was recorded in a garage, sitting in a ’64 Cadillac. Picture it- mic cables, jack stands, and a guy with a guitar piled in just about the coolest studio ever. The outcome was a collection of story songs, each opening with a narration telling you about the chapter of the story you are in. It’s a very cool concept, and it sounds great.
Tony is a currently a solo act and can be found around Memphis playing a variety of venues. You can just as easily find him at a farmer’s market as you can at a local club or the Center for Southern Folklore. Check out his Facebook page, and you will see where he is playing with the who’s who of the Memphis’s folk scene. His music is available in multiple locations on the internet and on iTunes.