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metal talk
9th May 2017

wishbone ash

Wishbone Ash have departed with guitarist Muddy Manninen who has been with the band for the past thirteen years.

Finnish born Manninen joined the influential rockers in 2004 and soon become a firm fans favourite with his eclectic style of playing. He appeared on the albums 'Clan Destiny', 'Power Of Eternity', 'Elegant Stealth' and 'Blue Horizon'.

His replacement is Mark Abrahams who more recently has been in Yorkshire hard rock outfit Coyote.

wishbone ash

Wishbone Ash frontman Andy Powell today said on the band's official website:

"I always liked the Bruce Hornsby song, 'A Change Is Gonna Come'. It’s the one sentiment, it seems to me, that always proves true in life. And so it is, that I announce a change in the Wishbone Ash line-up.

"After many years of making albums and touring the world, we say goodbye to Muddy Manninen. It’s been a very rewarding relationship with some great work being laid down, from 'Clan Destiny' to 'Blue Horizon'. We sincerely thank Muddy and wish him good luck on his solo project, currently well under way. You can find out more about Muddy's activities at

"Jumping into the fray as Muddy's replacement – and the eighth in a long and illustrious line of guitar players that form part of the fabled Wishbone Ash twin lead section - is Mark Abrahams, who has only been preparing for this gig since the tender age of nine, when he first picked up a guitar and started to figure out some of those well-known lines that have inspired generations of guitar players.

"I'm not kidding; despite being only in his late 30s, Mark has the music of Wishbone Ash ingrained in his very soul, as well as his fingers. I'm happy to say Mark's a Les Paul and Strat man; these two guitars have always been an important part of Wishbone's sound. He also plays Elvidge Custom Guitars.

"The owner of Vision Guitars in Castleford, Yorkshire, Mark has worked in musical instrument retail since leaving Leeds College of Music in 1997.

"Mark's debut performance with Wishbone Ash will be at the upcoming Sweden Rock festival alongside some of our musical heroes like Kings X, Aerosmith and the Scorpions. No pressure then?

"Actually, Mark has a recent history of over 100 dates a year with Yorkshire band Coyote, and has toured with Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (ex-Guns N' Roses) and Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson's version of Saxon. Mark is raring to get started both on rehearsals and then the tours that we have planned. It will also be very interesting to explore new music together, and that will obviously be priority as we position the band for a new album recording.

"So, like the title of my recent biography implies: 'Eyes Wide Open', we’ll be keeping all options open as far as new projects that will come our way. It’s going to be an exciting new phase for Wishbone Ash. Come and check us out on the road as we welcome Mark Abrahams into the band."

Muddy Manninen said on his official Facebook page:

"Dear friends, as it is with everything in this life, at some point things are gonna change. After almost thirteen years in Wishbone Ash, it's time for me to do something else. It's been a period of creativity, hard work, lots of travelling, but also fun, fellowship and good memories. I've also made a lot of good friends during these years. I want to thank you all for your support. And I wish Mark Abrahams, who is taking my place, good luck. He's got one more pair of shoes to step into.

"As I am always fiddling with new song ideas, I suddenly realised at the end of last year, that I've got a bunch of songs, that were not particularly WA material. This has grown into a solo album project, and I am really excited about it. The album's got got some nice guests on it; one of my all time favorite singer and song writer Gregg Sutton, and the legendary drummer from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers 'Beano' album with EC, Hughie Flint, and Tom Leary of Lindisfarne and Feast Of Fiddles fame, just to name a few... there's a link on my website, where you subscribe to a newsletter, if you want to stay in the loop.

"Hope to see you all on the road somewhere soon!"

Wishbone Ash will be touring extensively later this year and here's all the dates:

June 9th: Sweden Rock, Sölvesborg, Sweden
July 20th: Magic Blues Festival, Vallemagia, Switzerland
September 9th: Augusta Raurica, Augst, Switzerland
September 12th: Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI
September 25th: Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD
September 26th: The Tin Pan Richmond, VA
October 2nd: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, New York, NY
October 17th: The Stables, Milton Keynes
October 18th: Dorking Halls, Dorking
October 19th: O2 Academy Islington, London
October 20th: Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare
October 21st: Cheese and Grain, Frome
October 22nd: The Arts Centre, Swindon
October 24th: The Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham By Sea
October 25th: The Brook, Southampton
October 26th: Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne Minster
October 27th: The Hub, Plymouth
October 29th: King Edward VII, Memorial Hall, Newmarket
October 31st: Princess Theatre, Hunstanton
November 2nd: Floral Pavilion Theatre, Wirral
November 3rd: The Tivoli, Buckley
November 5th: The Lowry, Salford Quays
November 7th: The Flowerpot, Derby
November 9th: Bootleggers, Kendal
November 10th: The Jam House, Edinburgh
November 11th: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
November 12th: The Ferry, Glasgow
November 14th: Riverside Lodge, Morpeth
November 15th: ARC, Stockton-On-Tees
November 16th: The Layton, Blackpool
November 17th: The Picturedrome, West Yorkshire
November 18th: AshCon 2017 @The Grand, Clitheroe, Clitheroe

judas priest


monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


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