Wise and Otherwise (Northern Blues)

Reviewed by Eric Steiner

Guitarist Harry Manx mixes traditional blues with East Indian strings and it works. The Canadian Independent Music Awards honored his debut CD, Dog My Cat, as Blues Album of the Year 2002. His follow-up should garner Harry not only more awards but more listeners to the way he bridges the worlds of traditional blues and traditional Indian music, particularly on his covers of Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" or Jimi Hendrix' "Foxy Lady." Manx shifts gears from Calcutta to Memphis on "The Gist of Madhuvanti/The Thrill Is Gone," the entire CD showcases Manx' magic on the Mohan Veena (a traditional Indian stringed instrument) as well as a lap guitar, banjo and harmonica. My favorite is the original "Coat of Mail" about a lost soul, "an honest man in the welfare line," with its haunting and sadly wistful slide guitar.

Track List:

Only Then Will Your House Be Blessed * Death Have Mercy * Roses Given * The Gist of Madhuvanti/the Thrill Is Gone * Coat of Mail * Don't Forget to Miss Me * A Little Cruel * Crazy Love * Fox Lady * Makes You Wanna Die Laughing * Tethered Dogs * Raga Nat Bahariav

© 2002 - Eric Steiner