High energy. Pure joy. There’s simply no other way to describe Don Mancuso’s guitar style. Mancuso’s acclaimed artistry, versatility and professionalism have earned him the respect of his peers plus the accolades of worldwide audiences.
The Rochester, NY native began playing guitar at the age of six and began playing in earnest when he was a teen. A keen ear and study of the Rochester music scene allowed Mancuso to hone a unique style and an intense stage presence.
By age 18, he was playing professionally with the blues-rock band Black Sheep, featuring vocalist Lou Gramm, who would go on to front the ‘80s supergroup Foreigner.
Black Sheep built a solid regional following before touring nationally in support of a host of legendary artists and bands, including Argent, Peter Frampton, Hall & Oats, KISS, Ted Nugent and Procol Harem. Black Sheep released two albums, Black Sheep and Encouraging Words, both of which featured songs penned in part by Mancuso.
When Gramm moved to Foreigner, Mancuso explored many options. He studied classical guitar, dabbled in rock/fusion, and did studio work in New York City with Ian Lloyd of Stories. He also studied piano and voice at the College of Marin in California. After returning to his hometown of Rochester, he began playing with the band, Cheater, which quickly gained recognition in the U.S. with the 10-inch EP, “Ten Cent Love Affair.”
Over the years Mancuso has worked with a host of other artists including Ian Gilan and Dan McCafferty on the 2011 tour of Europe with Rock Meets Classic, Imaginary Few, Johnny Smoke, The Park Ave Band, Linda Rutherford & Celtic Fire, Jessica Hamilton Regi Hendrix and Billy Sheehan to name a few.
His continued friendship with Lou Gramm allowed Mancuso to contribute to Gramm’s various solo projects, including Gramm’s successful debut solo album, Ready or Not, which featured the hit single, “Midnight Blue.“
DDrive released the next effort “3D” in 2010 featuring all 3D art and glasses with the package. It received rave reviews and featured Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr Big) on bass for the song Dig Down.
Since then The Lou Gramm Band has released a Christian Rock release containing 5 songs on the North American release and 7 including bonus tracks for the European and Asian markets featuring Don’s music.
Don has just released his third solo venture an all original, instrumental EP titled “No Strings Attached” for Melodic Revolutions Records. It features Don on guitar and bass as well as Mark Schulman on drums.
Don teaches guitar both one on one and on Skype. He is owner and engineer of Rock Productions studio the Porta Plant and is currently doing guitar tracks for hire for writers, bands and studios around the world.
By Barbara Laughon