Singer/songwriter/guitarist Phil Manning brought the lyrical side of the blues to Australia. As a founding member of Chain, one of Australia's best known blues bands, Manning has been equally successful as a soloist and sideman for a lengthy list of artists including Bo Diddley, Champion Jack Dupree, Mick Taylor, Kristina Olsen, and Guitar Shorty.
The grandson of a Tasmanian bandleader, Manning cites Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Doc Watson, and Celtic music as influences. In 1967, he began playing with harp player and vocalist Matt Taylor in a short lived band, Bay City Union. Following the group's disbanding in 1968, Manning and Taylor formed Chain. Although Chain's debut album, Live (1969), hinted at the band's abilities, the group's second album, Towards the Blues, made them national superstars and was certified for gold status twice. The band continued its success with the release of Live Again in 1973 and Two of a Kind in 1974.
Launching his solo career in 1977, Manning showcased his slide and fingerstyle guitar playing on his debut solo album, I Wish There Was a Way. He continued to focus exclusively on his solo career for the next six years until 1980 when he formed a new group, the Oz Band, with keyboardist Bob Patient, harp player Howie Smallman, bassist Roy Daniels, and drummer Rick Whittle. The band's first album, Oz Blues, reunited Manning and Taylor.
Resurrected in 1983, Chain released their fifth album, Child Of The Street. The reunion was short-lived, however, and the group did not record another album together until 1999 when they recorded, Mix Up The Oils. Manning, meanwhile, continued to record on his own, releasing It's Blues in 1988, Live At Stony Bridge in 1990, Can't Stop in 1992, The Back Shed in 1994, and Two Roads in 1998.