Interview With Don Mancuso

Legendary Guitarist Don Mancuso Returns With His First Holiday CD

Don Mancuso (DDrive, Black Sheep, Lou Gramm Band) returns with a brand new release, a two track Holiday CD single featuring a beautiful rendition of the classic Blue Christmas made famous by Elvis and written by Billy Hays & Jay W. Johnson.

Mancuso also captures the spirit of Christmas with a brand new song “Its Christmas” that is sure to become a holiday classic, featuring the extraordinary talents of long time friend and musical companion Lou Gramm (Foreigner, Black Sheep, Shadow King).


KChele: Love it when rockers, such as yourself and Lou, slow things down a bit and release Christmas songs. Who wrote “It’s Christmas” and how long did it take to complete?

Don: It was written by me and my longtime friend and fellow guitarist Pat Petrone. We use to write together in a fusion band called Aurora back in the 80’s. He also appeared on my first solo venture “Now You See It” as singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He actually sang what we thought would be the final lead vocal on it. I brought it out to a show and turned Lou (Gramm) onto it and he loved what he heard and asked if he could do it. Next day we were in the studio laying down what’s there now and frantically editing and remixing for Lou’s part! Just add the deadline on mastering it that night in Memphis and Pat and I couldn’t be happier with the results!
It took around a month or 2 to complete. And then there’s the paper work… LOL!!


KChele: As a fan of Elvis, naturally “Blue Christmas” is one of my favorites. When choosing a Christmas song to cover, what was the deciding factor in picking this one and who is the female singing with you?

Don: My fans actually picked the song for me. It had to be something I could actually sing and not butcher to badly as well! I don’t consider myself a “great singer” by any stretch of the imagination, but some people like it… someday I’ll figure out why. My voice is better suited to harmonies.
The female voice is my niece Sierra Overmoyer. And SHE can sing!! She attends college at Brockport for Theater, dance, acting, singing… She’s great. I’ve tried to attend every production she’s been in and they’re all awesome!


KChele: Is this your first time releasing holiday music and do you plan to do more of these types of songs in the future?

Don: Yes, it is the first and was so much fun I think I’d like to do more and have an entire CD of holiday music. It allows me the freedom to do things I can’t do on pop, funk and rock music.


KChele: Can fans expect to hear these songs at shows?

Don: That’s a tough one, since there is no band really. And we would need an orchestra as well! Maybe if something clicks and gets out there. It would be fun, that’s for sure!


KChele: When and where can these songs, “It’s Christmas” and “Blue Christmas“, be purchased and how long will they be available?

Don: They are actually out for download now at my ReverbNation site and my record company’s site…
The hard copy CD with some great artwork by Scott Hamilton of Hamilton Productions should be ready by the beginning of next week! Can’t wait… always exciting to get them in hand and see and touch them. Not many people do that now days.. If it goes well I’d really like to press vinyl. I love vinyl. So warm.


KChele: Christmas is my favorite time of year; it’s magical, or so I like to believe anyway (lol). So, if you could have one wish this Christmas, what would it be and why?

Don: Seems stupid, but I’d like to see peace. Everywhere in the world. Greed, gone and people helping each other. There’s a certain amount of that going on everywhere, but it would BE Christmas if it was the standard for me. Violence, sex (the wrong kind at least) and killing are everywhere these days. We need an “eye in the sky”.

Don Mancuso on the Web:

About Kimberly Michele Durham


Posted on November 27, 2012, in Interviews, K*Chele Magazine, Music and Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have been a big fan of Don Mancuso since Black Sheep Cheater (K^Chele, you forgot to mention Cheater, hugely underrated band). I watched Don/Donny/Dee perform live several times with both Cheater and The Lou Gramm Band; he plays with the energy, confidence and charisma of a young rock star, but has the experience of a seasoned veteran.
    Don has always been a great show all by himself (musically and visually), but as an added bonus you get to watch the rest of the band too !!!

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