Manna/Mirage is a band project of mine that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. My hope is to harken back to more of the original AmeriCanterbury sound that The Muffins produced back with our first few albums. (You’ll have to let me know if I’ve been able to accomplish this or not.)
One of the more exciting characteristics of this project (for me, at least) is the opportunity to work with, not only my own son, George on drums, but many talented friends of mine that I’ve known over the years and, in some instances, just met. In this way, Manna/Mirage will serve as a kind of ever-shifting digital ‘meeting place’.
“Blue Dogs” is the first of (at the very least) a trio of albums that I plan on putting out over the next 3 to 5 years (the next one, tentatively titled "Rest of the World" is already halfway composed / recorded). My cover artist is Gonzalo Fuentes, a very talented artist I ‘met’ on Facebook. I remember seeing his artwork that he would post from time to time, and I would comment about how much I loved what I saw. I later found out that Gonzalo is also a Muffins / Canterbury fan! And then I saw his “Blue Dog” painting, and I immediately said something like, “I want that for the cover of my album.” I didn’t even have a title for the album yet – Gonzalo’s painting gave me the name. I would like to state here that Gonzalo is an integral part of the Manna/Mirage project; he’s the visual to my sound. It’s his art that will be featured on all 3 of the Manna/Mirage discs (we’ve already got the second album cover chosen and ready to go). In this way, I’m hoping there’s an immediate visual connection with what I’m trying to do here musically. Much like the connection / collaboration that Zappa had with Cal Schenkel (one of Gonzalo’s artistic heroes, by the way).
Thank you all so much for your interest and your support. This would not have been possible without my Facebook ‘family’ that I cherish and depend on so much. It was all of your positive responses that gave me the confidence to go ahead with this project.
~ Dave Newhouse
On Facebook as Dave Newhouse
In the late 80s, Dave Newhouse put out a series of 3 cassette tapes of The Muffins that covered their earliest performances, both in the studio and live. These tapes have been digitized and re-mastered and are now available on CD. This first CD covers 1974 to 1976.