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 has performed across Canada, into the USA, Australia, France, Singapore and Spain. He has appeared at festivals, world-class theatres, concert halls and infamous Blues clubs around the globe. Playing the Mohan Veena, lap steel and guitar, Harry quickly envelops the audience into what has been dubbed “the Harry Zone” with his warm vocals and the hauntingly beautiful melodies of his original songs.
Blending Indian folk melodies with blues, a sprinkle of gospel, and compelling grooves, Manx’s “mysticssippi” flavour is evocative and hard to resist.
Titles include: Can’t Be Satisfied, Sitting On Top of the World, Working On The Railroad, Baby Please Don’t Go, Goodtime Charlie, Afghani Raga, Oh Death, Crazy Love, Spoonful, Tijuana, Bring That Thing, A Coat of Mail, Steal Six, Only Then Will Your House Be Blessed and Don’t Forget To Miss Me
Running Time: 80 minutes
Review: Harry Manx is a musician who blends blues, folk, and Hindustani classical music. He is the master of slide guitar, harmonica, six-string banjo, and Mohan veena, which is an arch-top guitar with 20 strings. Three are melody strings, five are drone strings strung to the peghead, and 12 sympathetic strings are strung to the tuners mounted on the side of the neck. It is played on the lap like a Hawaiian slide guitar. Manx's mastery of the instrument is a result of his five years of study in India with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Manx has released eight albums.
This DVD shows Manx in live and studio performances and in short interview sections, during which he tells of his musical journey from learning to play the blues to his current East/West fusion. The DVD spotlights Manx playing a wide variety of songs, including "Can't Be Satisfied," "Sitting on Top of the World,""Goodtime Charlie," "Baby Please Don't Go," "Afghani Raga," "Tijuana," "Only Then Will Your House Be Blessed," "Don't Forget to Miss Me," and many others. Along the way, he takes time to explain the origins of some of the instruments, songs, and his discovery of these varied musical forms. Raga Meets the Blues is an informative lesson in world music exploration, a fascinating autobiography, and a stunning performance by one of today's most innovative guitar players. – Dirty Linen
Review: And you thought listening to hypnotist Harry Manx flick unearthly notes from beneath a shivering slide was a trip. Wait until you see how the guitar whisperer works his juju on this studio-performance DVD. He'll lay an acoustic guitar flat across his lap and zip a steel bar over the strings, squishing out whines and whirls that trace their roots back just as much to classical Indian ragas as to Delta blues. That's how J.J. Cale's "Tijuana" morphs into an East meets-West chimera, what shoots a faint sliver of Bombay down the spine of "Sitting On Top Of The World" and the source of a new shiminy-n-wobble attitude for "Baby Please Don't Go". Then, to really bIow minds, he'll glide along his gentle giant known as a Mohanveena, an archtop that's been Frankensteined into a sitar-ish 20 string orchestra. Sound swirls, as waves of little vortices spin out through everything from "Spoonful" and the stone-cold plea for "Death Have Mercy" to Van Morrison's "Crazy Love". Besides making guitars chant along with his dusty voice, Manx also divulges surviving a Willie Dixon encounter, fills in the details of apprenticing in India under the Rajasthani tutelage of Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and offers a quick primer on Indian slide-guitar principles. Whatever gets "Manx'ed" – blues, ragas, poetic originals, like "A Coat Of Mail" or the self-described "rocker" "Steal Six" – gets transcendentally transformed. – BluesRag/Dennis Rozanski
Review: Harry Manx is one of the very few musicians around doing something unique: his blend of blues and Eastern ragas sounds like no one else. On this one-man performance showcasing his music and career, he speaks of fans telling him about how they go into "the Harry Zone" when he performs live. And if you've seen him play, you've no doubt had your passport stamped in that weird place a few times.
The format of this disc – a must for Manx maniacs – is simple and a bit clinical. The musician performs alone – without an audience – on a soundstage, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar or on his beloved 20-string Mohan Veena. Between songs, there are interview sequences in which he tells his story. Among other things, he reminisces about working as a soundman at Toronto's El Mocambo club, busking in Japan, learning his art at the feet of Indian musician Vishwa Mohan Batt, the 11-hour session for his first album and an intimidating encounter with blues giant Willie Dixon.
While the DVD's title seems to suggest an instructional element, you don't need to be a musician to appreciate Manx's monologues: the only shop talk comes from a brief explanation of his favourite guitar tuning and a quick demonstration of the intricacies of the Mohan Veena – and those bits are interesting for the layman as well.
There are no bonus features: just 80 minutes of straight Harry. The 15 songs include I Can't Be Satisfied, Sitting On Top of the World, Crazy Love, Tijuana and Only Then Will Your House Be Blessed. – The Montreal Gazette