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 full-time 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. After nineteen years, a million and a half miles and 3500 shows (not to mention five Dodge Caravans...) 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 even yodel.
A couple of quotes
"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/WI Public Radio, Bayfield, WI
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