Nineteen years ago, Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso, the Chicago area duo known as Small Potatoes, decided to hit the road. “In one year, we quit our jobs, bought a house, bought a car, and became fulltime folk singers–
not exactly the greatest combination, financially speaking, or what most people would call a sound business model. We didn’t throw darts at a map, but we might as well have.” They might not have had the best plan, but what they did have were great songs and musicianship, and the ability to put on a show. Eighteen years, more than a million miles, 3000 shows, and five Dodge Caravans later, they are listed as a “favorite act” by many coffeehouses, clubs and house concerts across the U.S. They have made repeat appearances at major folk festivals, including the Kerrville Folk Festival,the Walnut Valley Festival, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
From the start, they’ve called themselves eclecto-maniacs and described their music as “Celtic to Cowboy”. They say it has taken them “years of careful indecision” to come up with a mix of music that ranges from country, blues, and swing to Irish, with songwriting that touches on all of those styles and more. Their four recordings, Alive!, Waltz of the Wallflowers, Time Flies and Raw demonstrate that “indecision” can be wonderfully entertaining . They both sing, they both play guitars and an array of other instruments. They
When you see Small Potatoes perform, you hear two great voices, some fine guitar playing, and a touch of tin whistle, flute, mandolin, bodhran and other percussion toys. Together they present a truly rare blend of vocal and instrumental abilities, award-winning songwriting and arranging talents. They have the unique ability to adapt to the style of music they happen to be playing, and they also pay attention to the little things, the warmth, the humor and a rapport with the audience that makes for a memorable performance.
Come see Small Potatoes on Friday, October 25. Admission at the door is just $12, but $10 advance tickets are available at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s, and online at this site. At every Sundilla concert you’ll find free coffee, tea, water and food, though you are invited to bring whatever food or beverage you prefer.
Don’t stop reading yet; here are a few things people have said about Small Potatoes:
“These folks are wonderful; fun, energetic, and great musicians. They’re two of my favorite performers.”
Bill Staines, Singer/songwriter
“Behind the humble name hides a creative couple of singer-songwriters who know a thing or two about keeping a crowd laughing, smiling, and occasionally crying.”
Bill Lynch, Charleston Gazette, Charleston, WV
“Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso combine cleverly witty with powerfully poignant songs, along with well
chosen covers to present an unusually entertaining and involving repertoire engagingly delivered. Prezioso’s song “1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes” is one of the most outstanding songs of the past 50 years.”
Rich Warren, The Midnight Special –WFMT Radio, Chicago, IL
“They don’t sound like anybody else. I like that. They lay out a blanket and every song is a picnic.”
Warren Nelson, Big Top Chautauqua/Tent Show Radio –Wisconsin Public Radio, Bayfield, WI