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(AS) = All seated
(SO) = Standing only
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From Canada, Blues/Folk legend:

Harry Manx (AS)

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Advance Ticket Price: £11.00 Door Price: £12.50
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Harry Manx (AS)+ support Son of John

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.

His signature style follows in the footsteps of such pioneering work as that of Joe Harriott and John Mayer and their Indo-Jazz Fusions in the 60s, John McLaughlin’s work with Shakti in the 70s, and Ashwan Batish’s innovative Sitar Power debut in 1987. Manx’s Indo-blues hybrid seems destined to be the most universally appealing yet.

Born on the Isle of Man, 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"

SON OF JOHN is the moniker of Worcestershire based folk singer/ songwriter Jacob Johnson. This 26 year old has taken a keen interest in Folk music from both sides of the Atlantic. As a finger-style guitarist he has spent many years studying the stylistic flourishes and tunings of players like Martin Simpson & John Martyn – drawing similarities with other acoustic guitarists like Martin Carthy, Nic Jones & Nick Drake.

"It is worth talking about Jacobs's guitar and banjo playing, which are outstanding. His stated influences, Martin Simpson and John Martyn, are evident in both his effortless picking and heavy bass runs. However, his use of altered tunings is also a pivotal part of his overall sound." - Fatea

His vocal style lends itself to the soft and subtle tones of folk ballads but can bring rasp and gravel to the more country blues numbers that litter his sets.

"He has an excellent voice that sits somewhere between the husky drawl of Kelly Joe Phelps, the intensity of Martin Stephenson and the earthy, bluesy power of Marcus Foster." – Fatea

"..(Son Of John) brings to mind John Smith or Ray La Montagne." – Songlines Magazine

His songwriting has come from an eclectic taste in music, from the Gospel songs of North America to the desert Blues of Mali. Songwriters have been a significant source of inspiration for this young troubadour - musicians such as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Jose Gonzalez and The Tallest Man On Earth.

On his recent debut album, "Autumn’s Hymn", Son Of John compiles eight original songs with two English ballads, creating an album that is a fusion of roots & folk music:

"..a series of intricately and sometimes delicately orchestrated, vignettes and ballads that switch in a heartbeat from reference points as diverse as Appalachian Bluegrass to the arid string patterns of the Maghreb." – Slap Magazine

"This is a very impressive debut album ... and certainly does not sound like a first release. The assurity of the playing, the way the songs are embedded in tradition yet still remain freshly original ... all give the sense of someone several albums into their career." -Fatea

Advance Ticket Price: £11.00 Door Price: £12.50
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Previous Gig: 30 October 2017: Electus - Cause To Effect - Anonymous - State Of Ember  (HH)
Next Gig: 01 November 2017: Ben Poole Band (HH)

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