Katoomba RSL Club presents
Harry Manx at Katoomba RSL, Blue Mountains
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Canadian bluesman Harry Manx returns to Australia in July/August for a series of intimate shows. Joining Harry onstage will be multi-award winning keyboardist Clayton Doley.
***This is an all ages event - Under 18's must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian***
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 voicing 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.
Born on the Isle of Man, Manx immigrated to Ontario with his parents when he was a child. He started working with bands as a 'roadie' at age 15 and gradually worked his way up to becoming the regular sound man at the well-known El Mocambo (blues) club in Toronto. There he worked with a slew of blues legends. Harry admits that blues is still 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 what I'm particularly interested in is the groove, and that's the way I play blues".
"I went to Europe when I was 20 and started making money as a busker," recalls Manx. "I've worked mostly as a musician since then, though I did some theatre work for a while. I was a one-man band with a drums and a cymbals for a time too. It was really a lot of fun"
Manx's time in India has imbued his music with an intangible spiritual quality. "the song reveals who you are, it's the vehicle for your message, your inspirational ideas or your story," explained Manx. "Like many people I'm interested in my own development as a person and that's represented in my songs, I'm searching for truth through art and spirituality. My songs are a synthesis of everything I've absorbed, all my experiences and I share that. I'm glad that it means something to people." "Indian music moves a person inward," he explains. "It's traditionally used in religious ceremonies and during meditations because it puts you into this whole other place (now, here). But Western music has the ability to move you outward, into celebration and dance. There are some 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 leads me to more and more experimentation. The journey has been great so far."
Manx is a prolific artist, releasing 12 albums in a 12 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, "Om Suite Ohm" was voted by the Montreal daily La Presse as one of only 4 CDs to watch for this in 2013. Guitar Player Magazine called it "his most fully realized work to date".
Blending Indian folk melodies with slide guitar blues; adding a sprinkle of gospel and some compelling grooves, that's the sound that Harry lays down. It goes down easy and leaves you hungry for more.
Clayton Doley is Australia's finest Hammond organist and is quickly gaining international recognition as one of the top new players on the world stage. His fiery bluesy virtuosity has earned him spots on on some of the world's biggest festivals including Montreal International Jazz Festival, Byron Bay Blues Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival and Tremblant International Blues Festival to name a few.
Special guest for the evening with be local artists Francesca Sidoti.
Raised on folk, country and blues (a mix designed to handicap her in the playground), Francesca has a live act that gets talked about.
Playing accordion-addicted retro pop, her debut album 'Bright City Light Fool' was released in August 2010, and has since had two songs shortlisted in the ASA Songwriting Awards and #3 ranking on the folk and pop charts of AMRAP.
"a dulcet voice and whimsical lyrics", Rave Magazine, Brisbane.
"smiles and laughter" Drum Media, Sydney.
Doors Open 7pm
Support starts 7:30pm
This is a theatre style seated show - seats are not allocated.