Review: The Ray Mann Three @ Annandale Hotel, 24.02.08 ~ Sydney

I couldn’t have conceived neo-soul outfit [The] Ray Mann Three working in a rock room. I was wrong. They rocked. The extraordinary tightness of this trio created a sound that was bigger than anything played yet. Stripped back and simple lines coupled with Mann’s rhythmic falsetto had a pulsing rawness that made the young Annandale crowd seriously jump around. It just goes to show that this group has what it takes to transcend the barriers defined by genre.

By Donne Restom
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 03.03.08

Review: Hawksley Workman, Ray Mann @ The Vanguard 09.01.08 ~ Sydney

Pre-show entertainment at The Vanguard is usually a non-event. Dinner is being served and the rattling and clinking of culinary implements create cymbal-like accents within the cacophonic rabble. Ray Mann begins his solo show with “How Long Has This been Going On”, an exceptionally quiet piece that grabs an unusual bout of attention from his chattering audience. Looking visibly surprised with the response Ray continues on his softly spoken, unassuming tack singing “Just Another Night With You” and the original “Gettin’ Through” with a lyrical clarity that can often be obscured within his usual trio. As the audience buzz rises and falls in accord to the dynamic level of each song, Ray pulls off a difficult spot with simplicity and warmth.

By Donne Restom
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 09.01.08