Well I did it! Ten shows, as far north as The Radio Bean in Burlington, Vermont, and as far south as The Dogfish Head Brewery in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. Me and my acoustic guitar … for the most part.
As a longtime songwriter, 99 percent of my music starts with me by myself with my acoustic guitar. As lead singer, songwriter and frontman for Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project for more than three years now, I’m used to hearing my songs “electrify” into funk rock jams with horns, driving percussion and electric guitars.
However, with studio time booked for March and the challenge laid out to walk in there with at least 15 new tunes, I needed to get back to my roots. I had to knuckle down, complete some musical ideas and thoughts I’ve had rolling around my fret board and road test my new material and myself in a truly bare-bones fashion.
The tour started out in Massachusetts on UnRegular Radio, where I met my tour mate, Jamie Lynn Hart, for the first official time. I decided to challenge myself right away on the air when I opted to perform a solo acoustic version of “Anticipation” off the Neon Lights,/em> album. This track is usually chock full of guitar and sax solos as well as backup vocal hooks. Despite my doubts, I’m happy to say I pulled it off and was able to still portray the passion and groove commonly associated with that tune.
I then headed cross town to the MIT Campus in Cambridge, where I hopped on the
and decided to take my second risk of the day and play a new tune I had just written the bridge for the night before. The track is called “Someday I’m Gonna Make You Mine,” and it, too, went over very well. Based on the reaction I got from the performance, it became a staple for the rest of the tour. By the last show of the run in Delaware, a couple folks in the crowd asked me where they could get a recording of it. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get in the studio and lay it down!
I performed the first night in Cambridge at The Middle East. I went a little farther north the next night to play in Lowell, Massachusetts, at The Back Page. When I got off stage, I found out that I was nominated, out of hundreds of independent bands, for Best Connecticut Based Act of 2011 by the
. I also found out I was officially asked to perform at the awards ceremony at The Hard Rock in Boston in March. The night turned into an instant party after receiving that news!
The rest of the tour proved to be epic. I met some killer artists throughout my journeys, worked out a lot of new material, played some amazing rooms, and got my groove on to a street performing saxophone player on South Street in downtown Philly (notice the photo)!
With another acoustic tour slated for April, and an NYC full-band performance on a Powerhouse bill with The Folkadelics on March 16, I’ll have lots more to share with ya’ll real soon.
In the meantime, wish me luck at the New England Music Awards, be sure to like
and check out this video of my aforementioned performance of “Anticipation” on UnRegular Radio in Boston:
Rock 'n' Roll, ya”ll!!
Frank Viele started playing at the age of 3. His infectious style of guitar-playing and soulful rock voice are key elements to the success of his band Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project. But his solo shows bring the same raw energy and crowd-stirring excitement to audiences across the country. His sound has been compared to John Fogerty, Otis Redding, and even Dave Matthews but it’s the authenticity people hear most. A soulful stew of rock, pop, blues, and jazz are ever present. Being so well versed in so many styles means that Viele can deliver an incredible performance to any audience. “I started out doing the acoustic singer-songwriter thing, so this is really my first love. Having such great bandmates, I’m lucky to bring a few along sometimes to add another level of energy and funk to the shows,” Viele explains. Performing solo allows him to give his songs a different spin. “When you’re in a band, your songs take on a different life sometimes. It’s great to be able to revisit them. It allows the tunes to really stand and speak on their own,” he elaborates.