Manfred Mann´s Earth Band at the Rheingau Music Festival

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Cuveehof of Castle Johannisberg, Robert Hart (lead vocals) © RMF /Ansgar Klostermann

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, the British rock band around the South African keyboardist Manfred Lubowitz alias “Manfred Mann” has written pop history and was a guest at the Rheingau Music Festival: in the Cuveehof of the castle Johannisberg.

The classics Mighty Quinn, Blinded By The Light or Davy’s on the road again were of course in the repertoire on June 29 in the Rheingau and tore the audience from the chairs to join in the dance. That the offer of the Rheingau Music Festival is comprehensive and diverse was once again demonstrated by the appearance of this pop band in the Rheingau.

After great successes with his band “Manfred Mann” in the 60s, Manfred Mann founded his Earth Band in 1971 together with Colin Pattenden, Chris Slade and Mick Rogers. The success formula of the Earth Band was from the 70s to cover compositions of other artists and to give them their own unique sound. Also special marketing gags had the band always in stock. For example, for the marketing of the album ‘The Good Earth’ (1974): every buyer in the UK, along with the album, has the option of a few square feet of land on a hill in Wales.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band had the biggest commercial success in 1976 and 1978 with the albums The Roaring Silence and Watch. On these records are songs like Blinded by the Light (another Springsteen cover) and Davy’s on the Road Again, which became international chart hits. Blinded by the Light reached # 1 on the single charts in the US.

Also in the following years the band remains commercially successful. The albums Angel Station (1979) and Chance (1980) are increasingly prone to pop music. The album ‘Somewhere in Africa’ (1982) deals thematically with apartheid in the band’s South African homeland, including a version of the Bob Marley classic Redemption Song and Demolition Man, originally by The Police. The band first broke up in 1988 but was re-launched in 1992 by Manfred Mann. Robert Hart, who joined as a singer in 2011, brought new wind into the live projects.

In a time when Classic Rock and his makers have done their part, there is no reason for Manfred Mann to hang up his keyboard. He says: “Count Basie rocked till he dropped, Beethoven rocked till he dropped, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald … it doesn’t seem that odd that people should play music for their lives, if that´s what they do. Pop, rock and jazz is the music of the twentieth century, at least the last half of it and the best music will last.I started off beeing a musician and I´m carrying on beeing a musician. As long as people will pay to see us do gigs, I´ll perform.”

Manfred Mann’s music will continue to sound.

Johanna Wenninger-Muhr

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