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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Harry Manx. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harry Manx. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Stony Plain Records artist: Manx Marriner Mainline - Hell Bound for Heaven - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Hell Bound for Heaven by Manx Marriner Mainline and it's solid. Opening with Nothing, a cool blues shuffle, Harry Manx has the lead on vocal and banjo with Steve Marriner on harmonica and electric guitar and timed by Moe Duella on drums. This is a real nice opener showcasing some real nice riffs by Marriner on both harp and guitar. Title track, Hell Bound for Heaven, has a darker delta style feel but with a more contemporary Paul Rogers spin. Manx injecting the eccentric sound of the Mohan Veena adds mystery and even more with slide. Marriner's lead vocal and harp is solid. Rattlesnake is a easy rocking two step blues with Marriner on Baritone guitar, harp, drums and vocal and Manx on slide, backed by Clayton Doley on Hammond. This track has really nice changes in addition to a solid melody. With it's Latin beat and some of Pops Staples' original gospel structure, Wish I Had Answered is one of my favorites on the release. All of the vocals on the track are rich and Doley's Hammond work stands out nicely against Mariner's baritone guitar growl. Mariner makes Rev Gary Davis' Death Don't Have No Mercy his own vocally and using Davis' preferred 12 string backing but Manx's slide work really adds a nice texture. Wrapping the release is a strong ballad, Rise and Fall In Love with Manx on vocal, Marriner on electric guitar and Jim Bowskill on viola and violin.  A warm closer for a nice release. 

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sue Foley, Crystal Shawanda, Jenie Thai, Harry Manx & Steve Marriner, Earle & Coffin to perform at Maple Blues Awards

Sue Foley, Crystal Shawanda, Jenie Thai, Harry Manx & Steve Marriner, Earle & Coffin to perform at Maple Blues Awards

Raoul Bhaneja hosts Koerner Hall National Blues Gala February 4

Montreal’s Guy Bélanger to host lobby afterparty "Winner’s Circle Jam”

(Toronto) – The Toronto Blues Society has announced the performers who will grace the stage at Koerner Hall in Toronto for the 22nd annual Maple Blues Awards gala and concert, to be held on Monday, February 4th, 2019.

Heating up the cold February night will be performances from some the of the hottest Canadian blues artists including, Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk with Harry Manx, guitarist/singer-songwriter Sue Foley, who is nominated in six categories, Jenie Thai, who is nominated for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, blues-belter and Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Crystal Shawanda and Newfoundland’s New Artist of the Year nominees Earle & Coffin.

The evening will also feature a performance from Raoul Bhaneja, actor and bandleader of Raoul & The Big Time, who will be hosting the gala for the fourth time. Providing the MBA’s musical background and theme, The Maple Blues Band also accompanies all the special guests who perform as part of that special night.
The Maple Blues Band has been a cornerstone of the annual Maple Blues Awards Ceremony in Toronto since 1999. This world-class, eight-member group includes some of Canada’s highly respected blues musicians, all of whom are multiple Maple Blues Award winners and nominees including Gary Kendall, Teddy Leonard, Lance Anderson, Chris Murphy, Al Lerman, Pat Carey, Jim Casson, and Howard Moore. Following the not-to-be-missed gala event is the popular afterparty and jam, hosted by Montreal’s Guy Bélanger.

Canadian blues fans can vote for nominees online in the eligible categories until December 1st, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time. Register at

The Maple Blues Awards will be held on February 4th, 2019. The gala event is considered to be the premier blues event of the year.  Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards are available online at or at the Koerner Hall box office (The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto) or by phone at (416) 408-0208. TBS Charter Members can benefit from the ongoing exclusive pre-sale and purchase best available seats for a discounted price, $35.

Koerner Hall is The Royal Conservatory’s 1,135-seat performance venue. It is beloved for its architectural beauty and architectural acoustic excellence. Since opening, it has hosted hundreds of concerts and events reaching more than one million individuals around the world. Koerner Hall is celebrating its 10th anniversary season in 2018-19. To learn more or purchase tickets, please visit 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

40 Years of Stony Plain - New release review

I just had the chance to review the new 3 CD set, 40 Years of Stony Plain and it's a super bag of super recordings and unreleased music.

CD One called Singers, Songwriters and much more features tracks by Colin Linden; Spirit of the West; Corb Lund; Doug Sham; Harry Manx & Kevin Breit; Emmylou Harris; James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox; New Guitar Summit; Rodney Crowell; Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard; Jr. Gone Wild; Tom Hus; Ian Tyson; Jennifer Warnes; Steve Earle; & Eric Bibb featuring Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Ruthie Foster. This CD has a real rural feel with folk, country and grassy feel. Louis Riel by Doug Sham is a super track with a Tex Mex country sound. Rockabilly, That's Alright by James Burton and crew is another standout. New Guitar Summit's Flying Home throws a bit of swing jazz in with super nice flavor. Tim Hus's Wild Rose Waltz has real traditional country feel and is pure as snow. Eric Bibb and crew deliver a really rural rural Needed Time featuring Taj Mahal on vocals and breaking into a very sophisticated gospel style track . This is an excellent closer for Dics 1.

CD Two called Blues, R&B, Gospel, Swing Jazz and even more is full of huge names. Kenny "Bues Boss" Wayne, Joe Louis Walker, Rosco Gordon, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Mauria Muldair featuring Taj Mahal, Long John Baldry, Paul Reddick, Monkeyjunk, Jay McShann, Jeff Healey, Billy Boy Arnold, Rory Block, Big Dave McLean, Ruthie Foster, Sonny Rhodes, Jim Byrnes, Amos Garrett, Ellen McIlwaine,and king Biscuit Boy. Opening with Blues Boss on Bankrupted Blues and followed by Joe Louis Walker on Eyes Like a Cat this CD is smoking right off the top. Ronnie Earl gets a classic blues going on It Takes Time and a more contemporary blues rocker Monkeyjunk rips on Mother's Crying. Jay McShann has a really nice blues/jazz run on Goin' To Chicago and Big Dave McLean's Atlanta Moan is masterful. Ruthie Foster is one of the new artists that is in a class on her own, delivering on Keep Your Big Mouth Closed and Sonny Rhodes shuffle track, Meet Me At The 10th Street Inn in a slick blues romp. Wrapping disc 2 is King Biscuit Boy's Blue Light Boogie... always a favorite.

 CD Three is Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material opening with hot potato Ain't Gonna Do It by Duke Robillard. In My Girlish Days shows Maria Muldaur really grinding in her classic seductive style followed by her classic I Belong To The Band. David Wilcox really does a great job on acoustic instrumental, Uptown Bump, followed by 2 super tracks, I Hate That train and All Night Long by the terrific Sam Chatmon and his Barbeque Boys. Wrapping this disc and the entire package is Walter "Shakey" Horton with Hot Cottage playing a deep fried Shakey's Edmonton Blues. This is an excellent closer for a really super set. Congratulations to Stony Plain for assembling a great package.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Can't Be Satisfied - Harry Manx

Harry forged this 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 five-year tutelage with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt in India. Bhatt is the inventor of the 20-stringed Mohan Veena, which has become Harry’s signature instrument.

Even though he had played slide guitar for many years before arriving in India, he started back at the beginning under Bhatt’s tutelage, even re-learning how to hold the bar. From there, Manx learned Eastern scales and eventually ragas, deceptively complex and regimented musical patterns that form the basis of Indian composition.

He spent three to four hours each morning practicing in Bhatt’s home before returning that evening for a jam session with the tutor, his sons and various other fellow musicians. “Sometimes I’d throw in some blues licks in the middle,” he says, “and everyone would fall over laughing and enjoying themselves. And I thought if I can get Indian people to enjoy Western music like that, then maybe I could get Westerners to enjoy Indian music, too.” Harry decided to explore this thread of connection between the two musical traditions.

His signature style follows in the footsteps of such pioneering work as that of Joe Harriott and John Mayer and their Indo-Jazz Fusions in the 60s, John McLaughlin’s work with Shakti in the 70s, and Ashwan Batish’s innovative Sitar Power debut in 1987. Manx’s Indo-blues hybrid seems destined to be the most universally appealing yet.

Born on the Isle of Man, Manx immigrated to Ontario with his parents when he was six years old. He started doing sound at age 15 and gradually worked his way up to becoming a regular sound man at the well-known El Mocambo club in Toronto, where he worked with a slew of blues legends. While Manx doesn’t consider himself to be a blues artist per se, he does admit that blues is at the heart of much of his work. “I’ve always had one foot in the blues from those days … what I got from those artists is a groove that’s fairly similar to theirs. That’s what I’m particularly interested in … the groove, and that’s the way I play blues today”.

“I went to Europe when I was 20 and started making money as a busker,” recalls Manx. “I’ve worked only as a musician since then. Few people know that I was actually a one-man band with a drum-and-bass feel to my sound. I still have that one-man-band sound.”

Much of Manx’s time in India was spent meditating with different masters, which in turn has imbued his music with an intangible spiritual quality. “I always cloak my messages with inspirational ideas in a story,” explained Manx. “I also try and reach the listeners’ hearts rather than their minds. With the mind, there’s always a filtering of ‘I agree’ or ‘I don’t agree.’ I like to engage people’s hearts … I’ve always had more interest in my own development as a person than I had in my music. I think my music has done well partly as a result of my years of meditation … I can’t take complete responsibility. My songs are a synthesis of everything I’ve absorbed. We’re the sum of all of our experiences.”

Those years of busking on the street in various locations around the world taught him how to truly connect with and move an audience. His training in India allowed him to approach music from a different perspective, where the focus is on the song and on the transfer of energy between the performer and the listener. What makes Harry an exceptional performer is his ability to completely give himself over to the song in the moment, creating a deep well of emotion for the audience to draw from. It’s in the live setting, Manx says, that a bridge between “heavenly” India and “earthy” American blues is most effectively built.

“Indian music moves inward,” he explains. “It’s traditionally used in religious ceremonies and meditation, because it puts you into this whole other place. But Western music has the ability to move out, into celebration and dance. There are ragas that sound bluesy, and there are ways to bend strings while playing blues that sound Indian. I may be forcing the relationship between the two musical cultures, but I keep thinking they were made for each other. That idea leads me to more and more experimentation, and the journey has been great so far.”

Manx is a prolific artist, releasing nine albums in an eight-year span with no signs of stopping. He has received seven Maple Blues Awards, six Juno nominations, the Canadian Folk Music Award in 2005 for Best Solo Artist and won CBC Radio’s “Great Canadian Blues Award” in 2007.

His most recent original release, “Bread and Buddha”, is another melange of blues, roots, world and folk sounds. Harry spent almost two years carefully preparing the songs and uses full instrumentation including piano, organ, drums, base, and scored strings. The CD is a poignant exploration of the ephemeral nature of the human experience and recently received a Juno nomination for “Blues Album of the Year”

Blend Indian folk melodies with slide guitar blues; add a sprinkle of gospel and some compelling grooves and you’ll get a sound that goes down easy and leaves you hungry for more.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby Please Don't Go - Harry Manx

Harry Manx is a musician who blends blues, folk music, and Hindustani classical music. He was born in the Isle of Man where he spent his childhood and now lives on Saltspring Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Manx plays the slide guitar, harmonica, six-string banjo, mohan veena and Ellis stomp box. He studied for five years in India with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. He has released eight albums.

Manx was a nominee in the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for his Cover of "I'm on Fire".