The duo of Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso inject so much energy into their music it'll stop you in your tracks. They’re known as Small Potatoes. They call themselves eclecto-maniacs. They describe their music as "Celtic to Cowboy" and 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, and with songwriting that touches on all of those styles and more.
Manning and Prezioso both sing, they both play the guitar and a variety of other instruments like the tin whistle, flute, mandolin, and bodhran. And at times they even yodel, and do a good job of it too.
Jacquie grew up in North Aurora, IL. She bumped into the Chicago folk scene in 1976 and became a regular performer at the Earl of Old Town, Somebody Else's Troubles and Holsteins. She played Celtic music, rock-n-roll and even some country. Her voice, she believes, is her strongest instrument with a tremendous range of emotion and expression.
Rich grew up in Fort Lee, NJ. He believes he may be the only person in his hometown that can yodel. He has played blues, country, folk, and rock as a solo and in acoustic and electric bands. He studied classical guitar and composition, worked as a jingle writer for Captain Crunch commercials, among others, for a few years. He is gaining a reputation as a songwriter and as a "guitar whiz."
But why Small Potatoes? They were playing in a steakhouse near their home on a Monday night. Nobody in the place was turning around to see where the noise was coming from. On a break, they were feeling pretty sorry for themselves; Jacquie thought up the name; it seemed awful fitting at the time. They figured that if they ever became famous it would be a nice touch, and if they didn't, well...they were small potatoes. And Married? Yes! To each other? Yes!
They are not “small potatoes” however when it comes to the Walnut Valley Festival stage, they are SMALL POTATOES. Their humor and their musical artistry are making them audience favorites.