Ryan Manuel / Photo by Fally Afani

We’re trying to be chill, we really are. But we have absolutely no chill right now. Live music, dear reader, is already rolling out here in Lawrence, Kansas.

We started our reemergence into Lawrence’s post-pandemic live music scene slowly. On Saturday, we took in an early patio show at Kaw Valley Public House (just down the street, the Gaslight was also hosting live music). To stay within COVID restrictions, just one performer (Ryan Manuel) was on the bill. We can’t tell you how good it felt to hear a train blaring over a patio folk show again.

Over the course of two hours, Manuel delighted the audience (many who were already vaccinated against COVID-19) with his special brand of outlaw country. He even delighted with Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard covers. Like many local folk musicians, his song about marijuana sat well with the audience and kept spirits high (pun intended, sorry).

Manuel had many new songs to tote, thanks to an upcoming album release. Here’s the first single off that album, called “On the Run.”