Margaret Garrett on guitar and vocals and Tara McManus on drums, vocals, (and occasional keyboards) make a sound which blends hypnotic blues, haunting slide guitar, and idiosyncratic rock and roll with dreamy, yearning pop.
The band started in the late 90s. Almost immediately, they joined Morphine for a US tour and recorded a self-titled EP with Mark Sandman of Morphine. They went on to tour the US extensively, playing with The Reigning Sound, White Stripes, Detroit Cobras, Holly GoLightly, Hot Snakes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blues Explosion, Dirtbombs and many more.
During the 90s and 00s, Mr. Airplane Man released three albums and an EP on Sympathy for the Record Industry. They successfully toured Europe and played two Peel Sessions on John Peel’s BBC radio show.
Their music has also been featured in a variety of TV shows and films, including multiple episodes of The L Word and the film Crazy Eyes. Margaret has also created an original score for a scene in The L Word and the soundtrack for an indie film scheduled for release in the spring of 2015.
Now Mr. Airplane Man is happy to be playing and recording again, after taking a break to have babies, live in the desert, and generally shake up their lives.
In December 2014, Mr. Airplane Man released “Lost Tapes.” This album was recorded at The Money Shot (with Bruce Watson of Fat Possum Records) in 1999 and has not been previously released. Music journalist Jeffrey Morgan put it in his Top 10 of 2014 in The Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/pazznjop/critics/2014/686117/
Mr. Airplane Man – “Lost Tapes! The Unreleased Bruce Watson Sessions (Moanin’ Records)” :: Wherein my two favorite blues-beltin’ babes are back with a forty minute ten tracker that should’ve come out eons ago but is well worth the wait. If you only listen to one snaky slide guitar session while waiting for your midnight crossroads appointment to arrive, make sure it’s this one.”
-Jeffrey Morgan, authorized biographer of Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop & The Stooges.
Mr. Airplane Man has recently played a series of reunion shows on both the East and West Coasts, including live radio appearances on WFMU (New Jersey) and KXLU (Los Angeles). They will be touring Europe in May 2015 and recording a new album in the fall.
“Bostonians Margaret Garrett and Tara McManus are deeply sensitive to the inborn ache of the blues. But Garrett’s guitar is the real salvation. It cuts and swings and explodes, crying.”
-Ben Sisario, Rolling Stone
“The two young women were playing white-hot, punk-inflected, juke joint blues as if they meant it, and they were doing it with nothing but a guitar and drums, wrenching every bit of soul and sound from their instruments”.
-Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
“Every riff, scream, moan, chord stab, solo, tribal groove, and rave-up is that real, and Garrett delivers thrilling and impassioned performances.”
-Michael Molenda, Guitar Player
“The duo manages to make the now- familiar line-up of guitar and drums sound urgent again, and they spit out both gritty, saturated blue-rock and airy, almost Spectoresque pop with a quiet strength.”
–Time Out New York
“Margaret Garrett plays nasty blues guitar, writes most of the band’s songs and sings them with power and feeling. Tara McManus plays drums, a little organ, and sings back-up to Margaret’s leads. They grew up together in the Boston area and formed Mr. Airplane Man in 1996 when they were living in San Francisco and listening to a lot of blues records.”
“Tara on drums and vocals and Margaret on guitar and vocals are a formidable pair and an even match for any of the White or Black Striped Thrill- Key Kills out there.’