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World Music CD Reviews South Asia

HARRY MANX

By Paula Kirman
Published June 27, 2006

Mantras For Madmen
Dog My Cat

Mantras For Madmen is Harry Manx’s sixth album in as many years. While primarily identified as a blues musician, he’s also known for playing an unusual instrument called the Mohan Veena, a kind of hybrid between a guitar and sitar. Indian musical influences find their way into several songs on this album, including the instrumentals “Afghani Raga” and “Talkin’ Turban.”  Manx’s voice has some rough edges, but it also possesses an undercurrent of warmth, which radiates through his cover of the Band’s classic “It Makes No Difference.” Manx also employs bass and drums on Mantras For Madmen, giving it more of a musical punch than some of his previous work, and powerful background vocals add a gospel flavor to several songs. However, the album is by no mean overproduced. Manx’s fusion of East and West comes through as effectively as in his solo work.