A singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California, Pat McManus uses his songwriting to show his unique perspective on the way he sees this world. “Life is meant to be lived, it doesn’t make much sense to just exist. Finding who you are and why you’re here are the keys to living a magical life.” His songs reflect some of the universal challenges that we face and the ultimate key of following your dreams.
By Sean Stroh
Singer-songwriter PatMcManus has many fond memories of his childhood most of which involve music in some shape or form.
Even as he glided across the local ice hockey rink in Woburn, Massachusetts, McManus couldn’t help but imitate one of his musical heroes.
“The reason I picked up the guitar is because of hockey. I started skating at a very young age and every time I put the puck in the net I celebrated by pretending to play the guitar on my hockey stick,” he said. “My coach used to call me ‘Little Hendrix.'”
By the time he was 10 years old, McManus found himself sitting in his room for hours listening to Johnny Lee Hooker while of course trying his best to play along to the challenging guitar licks. When he would leave his room, he was greeted by the sound of artists like Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and The Band echoing from the living room record player.
“These artists led me down so many amazing pathways of music,” McManus said. “Blues and Classic Rock always had the vibes that moved me the most.”
During high school, his dreams of impressing others with his own songs came to life, as each weekend, McManus brought his guitar to parties or wherever there were people willing to listen.
“That’s something that never gets old,” he said. “People hearing your music and really taking it in.”
After remaining in the Boston region for a few years and playing with a handful of rock bands following his graduation from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, McManus is once again eager to expose his music to an entirely different audience as a solo act.
Despite relocating to Los Angeles just a few months ago, he’s already become a staple at The Hotel Cafe and The Kibitz Room inside Canter’s Deli. While his self-produced six track EP Dreams can be heard through his website, McManus admits that it’s still a work in progress.
“It’s just me and an acoustic guitar which is all I wanted in order to make the words really stand out,” he said. “I’ve written so many songs since that recording so I’m putting together a more complete version of the EP right now. My dream is to record a full length album.”
In the meantime, at least while the recording process continues on, McManus knows exactly where he can find the small measure of peace so many seek but few ever find.
“A lot of people settle in this life because they think they can’t accomplish their dreams. They jump into a job that has nothing to do with what they really want to do,” McManus said. “Life feels more terrifying when there isn’t a crowd of strangers watching me play. That stage is home to me, it’s where I’m most comfortable and I’ve always felt that since I was a little kid. It’s where I’m supposed to be.”