A small (perhaps in reputation) record full of brilliant string playing, some very old and unexpected covers, references to Al Capone and lots of brilliant string playing (did I say that, already?).
Harry Manx from north of the border is a blues man with a strong love of Indian ragas. He studied for a while there and is a pretty good at handling the Mohan veena (invented Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, India’s classical guitar guru). Not a great voice but a lot better than mine. Together with his friend Kevin (Breit) he’s turned out a very pleasing north American record.
The musical partnership of singer/songwriter/guitarists Harry Manx and Kevin Breit is given a third outing on their duo album Strictly Whatever. The two play a variety of stringed instruments that includes, along with many different guitars, banjo, and mohan veena (Manx) and electric sitar, ukulele, and mandolin (Breit); Art Avalos provides percussion. Sometimes on these mostly self-written tunes,Manx and Breit create a ramshackle folk-rock sound somewhat reminiscent of Bob Dylan albums of the late ’90s and early 2000s, notably on “Nothing I Can Do.” That similarity is accentuated when Manxis singing in his gruff voice, though he can also suggest Mark Knopfler (“Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”). The album is a low-key mixture of folk, country, and blues styles full of textured playing and interaction between the two guitarists, who have enough experience with each other to be comfortable trading licks throughout. (AMG)
I’m sipping a whiskey. I get on a plane in a few hours and in a few more will be back home with my family! A week of work followed by a week of down time before the rush to the end of the year begins in earnest. This record which I’ve really enjoyed over the past many months is one I hope you’ll enjoy too! Humble but glory draped in its own way.
02 Nothing I Can Do
03 Looking For A Brand New World
04 Hippy Trippy
05 Mr Lucky
06 Note To Self
07 Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
08 Little Ukelele
09 There Was A Girl
10 Looking For A Plan
11 Dance With Delilah
12 Carry My Tears Away