Label: Northern Blues
from Salt Spring Island BC
Harry Manx is one of the most unique Folk-World-Blues solo performers touring today. Born in the U.K. and now residing in Canada, Harry Manx performs lap slide guitar, the Mohan Veena, the blues harp and sings with a warm, distinct and unpretentious voice. Harry Manx has brought the sounds of India to the Blues. Combining lap-slide guitar and the blues with the Mohan Veena (a 20-string member of the guitar family created and named by Indian musical guru Vishwa Mohan Bhatt) and his own distinctive vocals, Manx creates a new musical experience. His brand new album, Wise and Otherwise, released April 2nd, 2002 on Northern Blues Music, has been garnering positive attention across the country. His first Canadian CD entitled Dog My Cat, released in 2001, produced by Jordy Sharpe at the Barn Studios in Salt Spring Island, BC, enjoyed rave reviews nationally and won an “Indie” award for Blues Album of the Year at Canadian Music Week this year.
Born on the Isle of Man, Manx immigrated to Canada as a child. In the mid-seventies, he traveled to Europe and spent the next ten years performing in cafes and bars, honing the musical skills that would provide the foundation for his later musical experimentation. By the mid-eighties, Manx was touring regularly in Japan and had lived for several months in India.
During Manx’s stay in Japan he came across a recording of the legendary Indian slide guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who is considered a master of his instrument. Manx was so moved by the musician’s work that he contacted Bhatt and made arrangements to join him in India. There, he became a student’s of Bhatt’s, studying with the musician for five years. The two traveled together in India, performing in front of large audiences with Manx playing the tambura, a four-stringed instrument used to provide a drone. Bhatt would not allow him to play the mohan veena live at the time, as he was still a student Years later, having successfully mastered this complex instrument, Manx now incorporates the mohan veena into his own shows.
In the spring of 2000, Harry moved back to Canada to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. In February 2001 he showcased at the world renowned Folk Alliance Conference, which was held in Vancouver. Attending his two-thirty a.m. performance was Fred Litwin, President of Northern Blues Music, “Harry blew my mind,” says Litwin. “It was the most astonishing live performance I’ve seen in years.” Just a few short months later Manx was part of Northern Blues’ impressive roster, who distribute his albums worldwide.
He has been called an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that use the essence of the blues and the depth of Indian ragas. It is the sort of music that is hard to forget
Harry's shows are intimate and magical as audiences listen to his music intently while he performs his original songs and unique covers by Van Morrison and Jimi Hendrix on the Mohan Veena. Audiences also enjoy Harry's sense of humor and worldly stories. This is a show that audiences will remember for a long time and will look forward to seeing again with their friends as soon as possible.