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cutting alternative country music”

The Indie Source 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

Constantly pleasing and immediately affecting... worthy of wide recognition”

— Goldmine Magazine

New Album Out 3/23/23! 

Singer/Songwriter JJ McManus’s fifth White Owl Red studio album, Running Blind is set for release March 23, 2023.  Fourteen new songs that cover more ground than a road trip down Route 66. 

2am Christmas Eve - A Timeless New Holiday Song by White Owl Red - Americana, Roots, Alt.Country, Folk, Non-Com (full version)  (short) 

White Owl Red 
2am Christmas Eve 

November 16th, 2020 

Format(s): Americana, Non-Commercial, NPR 

Time for holiday music! 

A new song that pierces your heart with that dreamy Christmas feeling. 

Timeless and memorable as John Prine or Charles Dickens. 

Put this on your holiday playlists now!

Also Available in a Radio Edit short version for shorter attention spans!

Thanks to Jeff Monk for this new Review of Afterglow in the Winnipeg Free Press! 


White Owl Red  
Afterglow (Independent)  

J.J. McManus (a.k.a. White Owl Red) is now four albums into his musical recordings career and it’s worth explaining why his work has been credited for being "better alt-country music.  

Afterglow has heart and it has power. McManus delivers the kind of songs that resonate of a thoughtful life, and those feelings are crafted into songs with meaning and even playfulness. There is no forcing of the moods here, either. The musicianship is of the highest quality and the group McManus has engaged for his albums (Kyle Caprista, drums, Gawain Mathews, guitars, and backing vocals by Leah Tysee, Tonia Smith and Sage Gray) are outstanding.  

The opening title track is essentially horrific in its subject matter, a sombre tale of abuse and death, yet in the hands of McManus and crew, the leisurely rhythm and sweet musical hooks draw you in. I Walk The Line For You is an idiosyncratic homage to Johnny Cash’s love for his wife, June Carter, and here McManus modulates his own appealing vocals just enough to sound like the Man In Black.  

The rollicking Out on the Waters offers a country and Celtic swagger that rolls along, buoyed by a snappy beat, accordion and mandolin. There’s some humour shot through the organ-charged Tip Top Bob’s, wherein one regular patron of the titular, off-the-beaten-track watering hole advises another "don’t bring a knife to a gunfight" and "don’t piss off Red when he’s feeling blue."  

The drifting country/folk of The Way I Feel would have been a perfect fit for Gregg Allman to sing on his way to the great gig in the sky. Always the worker’s union supporter, McManus delivers a worthy partner to Union Fight Song from his 2019 album, Existential Frontiers, with the dutiful and insightful Working Class Heroes.  

Afterglow proves once again that McManus can create beauty from the residue of his life experiences and supply the kind of emotional immediacy that makes for a cool listen. ★★★★ out of five  

STREAM THESE: Through is Through, Tip Top Bob’s  

— Jeff Monk

Thank You! Now over 135+ Radio Stations are broadcasting the songs of Afterglow!  

Thank You! Now over 135+ Radio Stations are broadcasting the songs of Afterglow!

Undercurrents Radion (Syndicated), Out Of The Woods Radio (Syndicated),WYAP 101.7 FM (West Virginia), WXPR-FM, 40 Up Radio(Netherlands), 920 WON The Apple, Alternative Roots, B.R.U.M. FM (UK), Americana Boogie Radio (Santa Rosa), Americana Garage – WRFG 89.3 FM (Atlanta), Blow Up Radio (New Jersey), Blueprint, RTV 1 FM (Dutch), Blues & Friends RTV Baarn FM, (Dutch), Blues'N'Roots Corner Radio Duivenstraat (Dutch), Bonanza Midtfjord FM (Danish), Boston Free Radio (Bumps Radio), Boudin Barndance (WRIU), CJMP 90.1 FM (British Columbia), Country & Co Radio Aria 99.6 (France), Daz In The Hat (UK), Delta Rhythm Havenstad FM (Dutch radio), Eine Kleine Weltmusik Radio ZuSa, (Germany), Folkal Point (UK syndicated radio), Gonzo's Return 40UP FM (Dutch), Harky In English (Dutch syndicated radio), Highway 61 Radio Voce Spazio FM (Italy), Hillbilly Jukebox Radio Rheinwelle (German), Homelands Radio, KAFM, KALH 90.5 FM (New Mexico), KAXE-FM, KBFT, KBOG 97.9 FM (Oregon), KCAW, KCHW 102.7 FM (Washington), KDHX-FM (Interstate), KDWS, KEBF, KFAI, KFAI, KFCF, KGIG 104.9 FM (California), KGLP, KGLT, KHNS-FM, KHOI 89.1 FM (Iowa), KMUD, KMUN, KNON, KNSJ, KOWS, Blue Moon Americana KOWS 92.5, KPHD 93.3 FM (California), KRCB-FM, KRVM, KSJD, KSMF-FM Jefferson Pub Radio, KSQD, KUMD, KUPR, KUWR-FM (HD3), KVMR-FM, KVNF-FM, KVRF, KVRZ  88.9 FM (Montana), KXCR 90.7 FM (Oregon), KYUK, KZFR, KZMU, KZRJ, Landslide RTV Purmerend FM (Dutch), lta Rhythm Havenstad FM (Dutch), Mojo Alt 94.1 FM Radio 2 (Macedonia), Mystery Train Ascolta P.N.R. FM (Italy), NOLA County Radio (WHIV), Ocean Beach Radio (Orgegon), Paul van Gelder (Dutch syndicated radio), Planete Indie (Belgium syndicated radio), PT's Roadhouse (BC Canada), Radio Djerdan, Radio ZuSa FM 95.5, 89.7 and 88.0 and (Northern Germany), Roots Revival Radio FM Goud, (Belgium), Shout Radio, Songriver RTB ijsselmond FM (Netherlands), Sugar Country Radio, Sword Radio (UK), The Global Community Radio (stream service for radio stations), The Global Voice, The Overflow, (UK syndicated radio/website), WATD-FM, WCNI, WCNI-FM Twisted Roots, WEJP 107.1 FM (West Virginia), WERU-FM, WESU, WFCS, WFPK-FM Roots N Boots, WGXC 90.7 FM (New York), WHAY-FM, WHIV-FM (Nola County - New Orleans), WHPW 97.3 FM (Maine), WICN, WIIT, WITR, WITR 89.7, WLSL 92.7 FM (Florida), WLUW Razor & Di Show, WLVR-FM, WMNB 107.1 (Massachusetts), WMNF, WMOT-FM, WNCI-FM, WNCW-FM, WNEC 91.7FM New Hampshire, WNHN 94.7 FM (New Hampshire), WNPA 102.5 FM (Ohio), WNRN-FM Country Feedback, WODU, WOMR, WOTR 96.3 FM (West Virginia), WQRR, WRAQ 92.7 FM (New York), WRIR Lost Saloon Music, WRRG, WRST (Wisconsin), WSCA, WSCS 90.9 FM (New Hampshire), WSOE, WSSE Online, WTIP, WUKY-FM, WVTF-FM, WXDR 98.9 FM (Louisiana), WXHR 103.5 FM (Michigan), WXOU, WXPR-FM, You Haven't Heart this Music Podcast

Over 100 Radio Stations worldwide playing the songs of Afterglow & 33 Reviews - Week 4 since release! 

Thank You!

90+ Radio Stations Broadcasting Afterglow!

29 New Music Reviews!

Listen to White Owl Red

 Non-Corporate Music

Thank You! 100+ Radio Stations Broadcasting Afterglow! 

Undercurrents Radio (Syndicated), Out Of The Woods Radio (Syndicated), WYAP 101.7 (West Virginia), WXPR-FM, WXHR 103.5 

(Michigan), WXDR 98.9 (Louisiana), WVTF, WUKY, WSSE Online, WSCS 90.9 (New Hampshire), WRST (Wisconsin), WRIR (Lost Saloon Music), WRAQ 92.7 FM (New York), WQRR, WOTR 96.3 (West Virginia), WOMR, WNRN-FM, WNPA 102.5 (Ohio), WNHN, 94.7 (New Hampshire), WNEC 91.7 (New Hampshire), WNCW, WMOT, WMNB 107.1 (Massachusetts), WLVR, WLUW, WLSL 92.7 (Florida), WITR 89.7, WIIT, WICN, WHPW 97.3 (Maine), WHIV (Nola County - New Orleans), WHAY, WGXC 90.7 (New York), WFPK-FM (Roots N Boots), WFCS, WERU, WEJP 107.1(West Virginia), WCNI (Twisted Root), WCNI, The Global Voice, The Global Community Radio (stream service for radio stations), Sword Radio UK, Sugar Country Radio, Shout Radio, Roots Revival. Radio FM Goud (Belgium radio), Radio Djerdan, Planete Indie (Belgium syndicated radio), Paul van Gelder (Dutch syndicated radio), Ocean Beach Radio, Mystery Train, Ascolta P.N.R. (Italian radio), Mojo Alt, 94.1 Radio 2 (Macedonian radio), lta Rhythm, Havenstad (Dutch radio), Landslide, RTV Purmerend (Dutch radio), KZMU, KXCR 90.7 (Oregon), KVRZ 88.9 (Montana), KVNF, KVMR, KUWR (HD3), KSMF-FM (Jefferson Pub Radio), KRCB, KPHD 93.3 (California), KOWS 92.5 (Blue Moon Americana), KHOI 89.1 (Iowa), KHNS, KGLP, KGIG 104.9 (California), KFAI, KDWS, KDHX, KCHW 102.7 (Washington), KBOG 97.9 (Oregon), KAXE, KALH 90.5 (New Mexico), Homelands Radio, Hillbilly Jukebox Radio Rheinwelle (German radio), Highway 61, Radio Voce Spazio (Italian radio), Harky In English (Dutch syndicated radio), Delta Rhythm Havenstad (Dutch radio), Country & Co Radio Aria 99.6 (France), CJMP 90.1 (British Columbia), Boston Free Radio Bumps Radio, Blues'N'Roots Corner Radio Duivenstraat (Dutch radio), Blues & Friends RTV Baarn FM (Dutch radio), Blueprint RTV 1 FM (Dutch radio), Americana Garage – WRFG 89.3 FM (Atlanta), 920 WON The Apple, Blow Up Radio (New Jersey), Daz In The Hat (UK), Americana Boogie Radio (Santa Rosa), Alternative Roots, B.R.U.M. FM, (UK), Songriver, RTB ijsselmond FM, (Netherlands), KRVM, KZRJ, WTIP, KZFR, KSJD, KFCS, WRRG, WMNF, 40 Up Radio (NL), PT’s Roadhouse, (B.C., Canada), WSCA, Radio ZuSa FM 95.5, 89.7 and 88.0 (Northern Germany), KUMD, 

Entire album available for free industry download at

Working Class Heroes - the new pro-democracy, pro-worker dynamic hit single - from the new White Owl Red album Afterglow, Out Now!  


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!  


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

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 

All that you need to make your day perfect...beautiful and fun...unique and distinctive...will never be heard anywhere else. -Yellow & Black