Constantly pleasing and immediately affecting... worthy of wide recognition... Afterglow shines bright”

— Goldmine Magazine

Style as indebted to vintage Americana as it is modern alternative…an epic way of entering a new era in western music ”

Music Existence

Worth it to anyone who loves cutting alternative country music”

The Indie Source Magazine

New Country Single - I Walk The Line For You - Out Now!

In this provocative new White Owl Red release, Singer/Song-writer Josef McManus, makes reference to the legendary relationship of Johnny Cash and June Carter as a prompt to reflect upon the challenges that arise as he grapples with life choices, personal demons, and the efforts needed to make true love last.  This new single is the second pre-release from the anticipated upcoming White Owl Red album Afterglow scheduled for release this month- February 26, 2020.    

"The Johnny Cash Wild West rock aesthetic is full force in this track… a must-listen for any fan, ‘I Walk The Line For You’ deserves a listen from anyone with an interest in the gene" -Review Fix Magazine 

“Leading with a seductive country groove, organic & melodically satisfying, with poetic, thoughtful observations on life...White Owl Red’s new single is one that kicks off 2020 in a refreshing and emotive fashion… a quickly familiar, comforting hit” -Stereo Stickman Magazine

"A poignant nod to the one and only Johnny Cash…worth it to anyone who loves cutting alternative country music… from start to finish in “I Walk the Line For You,” emotionality is transcending the implied physics of the arrangement altogether…this song is a must add” -Indie source Magazine 

“Josef McManus is at the top of his game…’I Walk the Line For You’ is an epic way of entering a new era in western music.” -Music Existence Magazine 

“‘I Walk the Line For You,’ which highlights his raw, pulsating musical sensibility… powerfully combines McManus’ unique musical aesthetic with his deeply felt appreciation for the true romantic love that Cash and Carter had for each other, which will surely leave a lasting impact on his listeners.”    -Shock-Ya! Magazine

"Twangy country flavors...White Owl Red delivers delectable old-school country aromas, all capped by McManus’ amazingly satisfying voice...reminiscent of both Cash and Bruce Springsteen" -Tattoo Magazine


Working Class Heroes - the new pro-democracy, pro-worker dynamic hit single - from the upcoming White Owl Red album Afterglow, out early 2020. 

Dedicated to the working class heroes around the world who who take grass roots democracy to the streets and stand up for Peace, Love and Dignity! 

Working Class Heroes, out now!

New single from upcoming White Owl Red LP, 

'Afterglow' release in early 2020!


What the Critics are saying about Working Class Heroes:

“one of the most intimate and unforced indie performances of the season…another slam dunk in this latest studio cut…rank this as among the more important independent releases to make headlines all year long”

-Indie Source Magazine


provocative lyrical commentary…polarizing and unifying in narrative…crossover appeal…“Working Class Heroes” is a compelling song that demands a reaction out of its audience for better or worse, and in today’s plasticized music business, this makes it quite the rare find indeed.

-Music Existance


“rolling resonant guitars thrumming with roots energy reminiscent of the powerful songs of Dylan and Woody Guthrie”

-Rawkus Magazine


“innovatively expresses what it means to be authentic in modern society in an honest, gritty, poignant and vulnerable way, during an unforgettable musical journey…driven by a blissful infusion of indie folk and roots-Americana…equally intelligent and hopeful…deeply felt social and political awareness”

-Shock-Ya! Magazine


“writes from the heart…the way the instrumentals are layered in the track is masterful… fun instrumental surprises that seem to evolve as the track goes on, Working Class Heroes is a great track ”

-Review Fix Magazine


“The lyrics of “Working Class Heroes” speak of the pride and determination of those men and women trying to work around those challenges to try and make a living for themselves. The music to the track itself blends together Folk music and some Rock and Roll influence to create a track that contains a driving feel to the music while still being laidback…brings to mind a combination of Bob Dylan-like lyrics with music inspired by the likes of John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen”

-Matheson’s Entertainment Blog


Attention DJs, Bloggers/Reviewers. Get your promo copy of Afterglow album! 

DJs & music bloggers/reviewers, 

I’m mailing out promo CDs of Afterglow!

Message me if you want a copy for review or airplay.

If you're not already on the nice list... I'll put you on it

#NewMusicFriday #NewMusicAlert #NewMusic #NewMusic2020 #newmusic2020 #NewMusicDaily #americana #altcountry #countrymusic #indie #indiemusic #indierock #altfolk #folk #countryrock #alternative #songwriter #radio #blogger #musicblog #spotify #musicvideo #newmusicvideo #musicreview #musicreviewer #artsandculture #music (note: This post was written while listening to the White Album side 3 Volume 10!)

White Owl Red to Release New Pre-Release Single "I Walk The Line For You" (January 24, 2020) 

"I Walk The Line For You", will be the second pre-release to the anticipated new White Owl Red album Afterglow.  This song is a straight up two-step telecaster-driven Country tune.  The song references the legendary relationship of Johnny Cash and June Carter (as well Vivian Liberto the first wife of Johnny Cash and the woman he pledged to remain faithful to in his song "I Walk the Line”).  McManus uses Cash’s relationships as as starting point to reflect upon the challenges that arise as a man must grapple with life choices, personal demons, fidelity and the efforts needed to make true love last.

The new White Owl Red single Working Class Heroes is out now! 

The new White Owl Red single just dropped on Spotify. Take a listen. It’s part of a 10 song album I’m just wrapping up in the studio scheduled for release early 2020. It’s a companion piece to Union Fight Song and was inspired by the history of the IWW and the history of the labor movement.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -Santayana


New White Owl Red album 'Existential Frontiers' has racked up 20 Excellent Album Reviews since its release! 

A big thank you to everyone of you reviewers and music DJs for championing this album and my music!  AmericanaUK, The Alternate Root Magazine, Skope Magazine, Stomp and Stammer (Bobby Moore), The Winnipeg Free Press/Uptown, Keys and Chords,, Review Fix, The Ark of Music, Indie Pulse Music,Vents Magazine, Shock Ya, Henry Carrigan, Jr., PRVI Radio Slovakia, Jim Hynes, Tinnitist,, Lee Zimmerman,, Harry Kaplan

Another Great Review for Existential Frontiers -Winnipeg Free Press - Thanks Jeff A. Monk 

White Owl Red  
Existential Frontiers (Hush Mouse Records)  

This year continues at a frenzied pace of new and exciting voices in the roots/Americana field, and the third album by San Francisco-based J. Josef McManus, a.k.a. White Owl Red, the delightful Existential Frontiers, should have a few new ears bending its way.  

McManus is a wordsmith and the recording has his vocals front and centre to the point that the listener can truly enjoy his sweet delivery and ability to craft memorable language that sticks in your mind. Breaking Away has a Dylanesque bob and weave coursing through its waltz-time flavour. "There’s three bricks missing at the entry/It’s been that way several years/Watch your step if you should come by/You could trip on that trail of tears..." paints the sort of picture you can keep coming back to again and again.  

There is an absolute honesty of sentiment in the quieter tracks, like the moonlit angst in See Through Me, and the swirling sadness that envelops Hand-Me-Down Girl. McManus shoots off in a couple of different directions and lets his cow-punk persona rock free in the short sharp shocker I’m A Saint and the fist-raised virtue of Union Fight Song. There is no lack of twang-fulness here, either, and for those that need to stomp on the hardwood floor, Take A Good Look and the title track raise some serious dust with their deft use of dobro and mandolin in the mix.  

There are a few songs of morning-after regret (Good Morning Moonshine, Everything But Crying), which include foggy-notion realizations like "I tried drowning the memory in tequila/Cause whiskey couldn’t handle the chore/Tried smokin’ grass from sunrise to sunrise/It just made me hungry, lazy and high..." 

★★★★ out of five — Jeff Monk (Winnipeg Free Press)

Stream these: Everything But Crying; Hand-Me-Down Girl

Join the mailing list for the latest screech