Winner of seven Maple Blues Awards, the Canadian Folk Music Award in 2005 for Best Solo Artist, CBC Radio’s Great Canadian Blues Award in 2007 and recipient of six Juno Award nominations, Harry Manx adds a second show – this one with James Gordon and Sam Lynch – during our 10th anniversary celebrations on Tuesday, May 29th. Show time is 7:30 PM and tickets are $35 advanced or $40 at the door. Harry’s first show sold out quickly so waste no time getting your tickets!
* Everyone who didn’t get a chance to buy a ticket for May 23rd show and is on the wait list, will be contacted shortly .
Born on the Isle of Man, Harry 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.”
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.
In his forty-year career as a solo singer-songwriter and with the ground-breaking trio Tamarack, James Gordon has released forty albums and toured relentlessly around the world. He has penned over 1500 songs, some of which have been famously played by Cowboy Junkies, James Keelaghan, and choirs across Canada. In addition to compositions for symphony orchestras, musical theatre, dance, and film scores, James was heard on CBC radio for over ten years as songwriter-in-residence for the Basic Black and Ontario Morning programs.
Sam Lynch is a wanderer and a restless mind, who sings her heart onto her sleeve by way of reflective, honest, lyrics and a nuanced, emotionally transparent live performance. She stands armed with a guitar and a voice that carries echoes from decades past—yet still commands space in the current tapestry— garnering her comparisons to the likes of Feist and Phoebe Bridgers. Sam currently resides in Vancouver, BC, where she is preparing to release her debut EP in May 2018.