Harry Manx: Bread & Buddha - Album of the Month - October 2009

~ Saturday, 31 October 2009
Manx is a troubadour. A musician that is always travelling and experiencing the musical delights that the world has to offer. His music is blues, but is infused with influences from India and Asia. In the 80's Manx moved to India to learn under the tutorship of Rajasthani musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who won a Grammy with his collaboration on A Meeting By The River with Ry Cooder. During this time he was gifted a Mohan veena, a 20-stringed sitar/guitar, by Bhatt which now heavily influences his music.

Manx is blessed with a breathy voice that is both evocative and soothing, perfectly suited to the laid back feel that pervades this album. Opener Nine Summers Lost is deep in Ry Cooder territory, no bad thing, but still retains a vibe that makes it unmistakably Manx.
We get our first taste of the Mohan Veena on True To Yourself. The Eastern influences prevalent in the ethereal backing vocals of Samidha Joglekar and that beautiful mystical sound produced by the Mohan Veena.

This is a vibe album. A weekend treat to relax to, the perfect antidote to the working week. There are no duds on here at all. Your Eyes Have Seen is a particularly brilliant track. The excellent and delicate slide guitar plays nicely alongside the bittersweet, downbeat even, lyrics.

Even if your not a blues fan, the songs on here are strong enough to enthral. It reminds me a lot of the great slide players like Kelly Joe Phelps and Johnny Dickinson, but there is also a feel of 'Local Hero' era Mark Knofler. This is a great album, confident and endearing from a musician that really should be better known than he is.


[][][][][] (5/5)