Mannheim Steamroller Tour 2019: Mannheim Steamroller is on tour performing live shows at venues across the nation. Ticket box offices are open and fans are snapping up 2019 tickets for the fantastic, energy filled Mannheim Steamroller Tour 2019!
Mannheim Steamroller is a symphonic pop group from Omaha, Nebraska, US that is well regarded for their “Fresh Aire” albums as well as their holiday albums. The group heavily uses synthesizers and is known for combining the genres of rock and classical music into their sound.
The musical composer and producer, Chip Davis, initially used the title Mannheim Steamroller as an alias for his music, but the title was later used to refer to the group that Davis had assembled. Davis remained the primary songwriter for the group, but pianist Jackson Berkey also contributed much to Mannheim Steamroller’s sound. In the early seventies Davis and Berkey were experimenting with a new sound that was labeled 18th century rock, which was a genre combining 18th century classical music with rock and roll. The group recorded some songs for their debut album “Fresh Aire”, but they could not find a major label that would distribute the album. This resulted in Davis establishing his own music label, American Gramaphone, and releasing the album under his label in 1975.
The idea for the album “Fresh Aire” would later become a series for Mannheim Steamroller, which showed them releasing many albums for the series. The first four “Fresh Aire” albums were released between the years 1975 – 1981 and were an attempt to explore the four seasons. “Fresh Aire” was spring, “Fresh Aire II” was fall, “Fresh Aire III was summer, and “Fresh Aire IV” was winter. These albums combined the genres of jazz, baroque classical, and rock music. The albums also featured diverse instrumentation, which included toy pianos, grand pianos, pipe organs, synthesizers, and harpsichords.
The other “Fresh Aire” albums have also been commercially successful and critically praised. “Fresh Aire VI” explored the concept of Greek mythology and was the first “Fresh Aire” album to peak on the Billboard 200 chart. The 1990 album “Fresh Aire 7” was also received with exceptional success and won Mannheim Steamroller a Grammy Award for best New Age album.
Perhaps the moment when Mannheim Steamroller achieved mainstream success was when they released their first Christmas album in 1984 “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas”. The album was the band’s first to make it on the Billboard 200 album chart and it has been certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA. The songs on the album were almost all traditional Christmas songs presented in a synthpop oriented way and the album is one of the best selling Christmas albums in the US. In 1988 the group released “A Fresh Aire Christmas”, which followed the tradition of their symphonic pop presentation. This album surpassed their first Christmas album in sales and is one of the best selling Christmas albums of all time. The group’s 2007 Christmas album “Christmas Song” showed the group collaborating with notable guest musicians such as Johnny Mathis and Olivia Newton-John.
Although Mannheim Steamroller’s “Fresh Aire” and Christmas albums seem to be their most popular albums, they have released many other albums such as several Halloween and ambient albums, as well as “Classical Gas”, which was a collaborative album with guitarist Mason Williams. The group has participated in many events such as playing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and has toured the world frequently to perform their music, especially their Christmas music around the time of the holidays.