Harry Manx Live at the Glenn Gould Studio

Harry Manx has been gently courting his audience with his Indian-inspired take on the blues, a marriage of Eastern music to Western, creating a niche that has more to do with world music than anything else more limiting. His success has been built on the back of his instrumental prowess on his weapon of choice: the 20-string mohan veena, which subtly blends Eastern sounds to blues-friendly turf. On his eighth release, Harry ups the ante with the addition of two members of Toronto-based world music ensemble Tasa. You can almost hear the audience buying some time, clapping politely between songs as they acclimatise themselves to this new balance. It doesn’t take long to win them over, as the hyper-simpatico league of support players (notably guitarist Kevin Breit and harmonica-player Steve Mariner) weave in and around Harry’s leads with deft skill. If Samidha Joglekar’s vocals contrast too starkly with Harry’s croon on "Point of Purchase,” all is forgiven by "Single Spark,” and Joglekar’s contribution at the tail end of the jam-friendly "Voodoo Chile” earns its just rewards. Of special note is Mariner’s wailing harp solo on the ten-minute jam that was Muddy Waters’ "Can’t Be Satisfied,” which will more than satisfy. Live pays significant dividends across its 60-minute length. The faithful are well served while the casual Manx fan will benefit from a closer look into the very core of Harry’s muse. (Dog My Cat)