live’n’loud: East meets west for Harry Manx
HARRY Manx has played more than 50 shows in the past three months, but the 57-year-old blues musician is not about to slow down.
Releasing his first album at the age of 45, Manx (pictured) has put out 11 albums since – the most recent being a best-of compilation, Isle of Manx.
Born in Isle of Man, Manx says he has always been into music. ‘‘I left home at 15 and was a street musician forever,’’ he says.
‘‘I studied in India, and in Europe I was playing on the streets for years. There were joys and downfalls, but all in all it was a good lifestyle. Manx didn’t release a record for a long time. And then, one day, it all came together. The niche found me finally and I have arrived at where I want to be.’’
In the mid ’90s Manx studied for five years in India with Rajasthani musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt – the inventor of the Mohan veena, a 20-stringed guitar.
‘‘I would play every day for four or five hours. I can play lap slide guitar, steel guitar, harmonica, and I play drums with my feet,’’ Manx says.
‘‘I guess I am a one-man band. The Mohan veena is a highlight. People like to hear it. ‘‘It draws them in.’’ Manx says learning to play the instrument helped combine his love of blues with Indian classical music.
‘‘Indian music moves inward – it’s traditionally used in religious ceremonies and meditation.
‘‘But Western music has the ability to move out, it has the tendency to draw people into something really deep; they’ll get kind of quiet and spacey.
‘‘My goal has always been to draw the audience as deep as possible into the music.’’
Harry Manx and Yeshe play The SoundLounge, at Currumbin RSL, tomorrow at 8.30pm. Tickets are $45