Harry Manx with the Emily Carr String Quartet
“Mysticssippi” blues man Harry Manx has been called an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. He has created a unique sound that is hard to forget and deliciously addictive to listen to.
Harry forged his distinctive style by studying at the feet of the masters, first as a sound man in the blues clubs of Toronto during his formative years and then under a rigorous tutelage with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt in India. Bhatt is the inventor of the 20-stringed Mohan Veena, which has become Harry’s signature instrument.
Harry played slide guitar for many years before meeting Bhatt in Rajasthan,in fact he had been living in another part of India for many years already, but he started at the beginning under Bhatt’s tutelage, unlearning most of what he knew about playing a slide instrument. He learned Eastern scales and eventually ragas, deceptively complex and regimented musical patterns that form the basis of Indian composition. Learning the voicings of Indian music is a subtle art that comes with time. Harry spent most of twelve years in India learning that. It was later on that Harry decided to explore the connection between Indian ragas and blues scales which eventually led to the Indo-blues hybrid that has become his style.
Harry Manx is accompanied by Emily Carr String Quartet. The new arrangements of the songs has taken a whole new life with the addition of the strings. The lush but sparse feeling of the strings with a variety of guitars leaves the listener with space to lean into the music.
Tickets: $40 (+applicable taxes and fees)