CHRIS MANNING (feat Bruce Kulick) – Reach the Sky (2023)

CHRIS MANNING (feat Bruce Kulick) - Reach the Sky (2023) - full

Reach The Sky” is the new album from Texas guitarist CHRIS MANNING, a worthy follow-up to the strong ‘Destination’ (2020), and once again features vocalist extraordinaire and co-writer, Cris Hodges (In The End).
“Reach The Sky” also features a stellar line up of guest artists including legendary guitarist Bruce Kulick (KISS, Grand Funk) as well as fiery blues guitarist Tommy Katona. In addition to his contributions, Bruce Kulick served as the album’s creative consultant.
“Reach The Sky” presents a great collection of genre-blurring songs combining melodic rock and metal riffs showcasing Manning’s unique approach to songwriting along with his thematic guitar solos. Vocalist Cris Hodges once again delivers catchy hooks with his amazing range and depth as well as his ability to provide the perfect vocal performance for each song.
Fans of all melodic hard rock eras will love this album as its a perfect blend of Manning’s wide influences. Rounding out the personnel are bassist Chapman Stick and keyboardist studio ace Rick Read (Herd Of Instinct, The Zeppelin Project) on 8 tracks, and Singapore bassist Dan Hawkins on 2 tracks. Drummer and UK session pro Max Saidi completes the line up.

As an artist with a wide-variety of musical tastes, Chris Manning’s music remains difficult to categorize. Manning was featured in Guitar Player magazine and is also a founding member of The Zeppelin Project, one of the top Zeppelin tributes in America. He shared stages with George Lynch/Lynch Mob, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dokken, Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), and Dangerous Toys.

Manning is a really talented guitarist with a unique style and approach. While “Reach The Sky” is based on classic melodic hard rock structures, there’s variation and some darkness in a couple of tracks making the album much more balanced. We find some Lynch Mob feeling here and there, and a places, more elaborated arrangements, even closer to King’s X.
Singer / arranger Cris Hodges really contribute with the musical creation. His tone, control, and range of his voice are on par or better than many of the top male rock vocalists out there.

While this is a record from a guitarist, it isn’t a showcase for his ‘soloing’ abilities. “Reach The Sky” works and sound like a band, with song format tracks rich in melody. And very solid and entertaining it is.
Highly Recommended


1 – Nothing But Time
2 – Reach the Sky
3 – Fly Over the Walls (featuring Bruce Kulick)
4 – Freedom
5 – Back to the Beginning
6 – Page Street
7 – Let It Go
8 – Fight
9 – Texas Smoke (featuring Tommy Katona)

Chris Manning – guitars
Cris Hodges – vocals
Rick Read – bass, stick, keyboards
Dan Hawkins – bass
Max Saidi – drums



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