Harry Manx – Om Suite Ohm

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Harry Manx has been called an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. For Om Suite Ohm, his eleventh album, Manx teamed up with composer/producer Hans Christian (who worked with Daniel Lanois and was bassist on Robbie Robertson’s solo CD) in Australia where he recorded with guests Yeshe and didjeridoo player Ganga Giri, who played with Peter Gabriel.
Manx has been cultivating his musical roots for more than 30 years. Much of that time has been spent immersed in Eastern culture under the guidance of mentors like slide guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt in India. With Om Suite Ohm, however, Manx seems to be expanding his global influences.
“Further Shore,” for example, sings of Spain with an overriding African melody, while “Way Out Back” is clearly drawn from countless tours in Australia.
Despite his little jab at the music industry’s need to pigeonhole, Manx is an artist who happily professes to always have one foot in the blues door. From India to jazz to Africa, it doesn’t seem to matter where the other foot may go. His intricate compositions, virtuosic playing and natural ability to blend genres have allowed Manx to carve out a place for himself in music that always feels like Om Suite Ohm.

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James Brown – Messing with the Blues

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Recorded between 1957 & 1975. Includes liner notes by Cliff White and Harry Weinger. MESSING WITH THE BLUES is a collection of Brown’s blues and R&B covers, and includes many previously unreleased recordings; several tracks released for the first time without overdubbed applause; and two tracks in stereo for the first time. The package includes a 16-page booklet with rare photos. This two-disc set makes an intriguing case for an aspect of James Brown’s roots not always considered: blues…

NME (Magazine) (2/23/91) – 8 (out of 10) – “…Although James Brown has been cited by many as the last great blues shouter…[he] has been quoted as saying he didn’t even like the blues. For one who didn’t like the blues, he was certainly a consummate blues singer….Imagine what he’d have done if he’d have actually liked the blues.”