Playful singer. Festive public, kind 5 to 7 extended. Famous music with Indian scent and, to pique curiosity, a string quartet. All ingredients were together Friday night to make Harry Manx’s show a source of pleasure big enough to erase the memory of this spring that announces everything except summer.
As soon as he arrived on the stage of the Theater National Bank in Chicoutimi, flanked by the excellent Steve Marriner, the public displayed excellent dispositions. Shouts from the parterre filled three-quarters, and even before the guitar placed on the knees of big beard does not let out his first notes charged with echo. The time to recognize the Tijuana tune, to savor a solo while retaining the harmonicist, and the cause was heard. It would be a nice exit.
Invited by the Jazz and Blues Festival of Saguenay, as well as Diffusion Saguenay, Harry Manx knew that his comrades of the Esca Quartet were expected. He therefore welcomed them from the second room where, unfortunately, they remained lost in the mix. The two guys buried them, but that was only a postponement, as demonstrated by the following title, Working on a Railroad. Their instruments are well married to the rugged voice of the veteran.
It was even better on Sometimes, a ballad in which the quivering of the strings, which had something oriental, added a touch of elegance to the trailing finale. Very witty, a facetious, Harry Manx then amused the audience by asking a couple of questions: “You have a” summertime “? What day? It’s nice here, but a little cold. “People laughed because it was funny and, no doubt, because they could not wait to taste the other Summertime, Gershwin’s, enhanced by a hint of curry.
This time, the quartet added roundness to the arrangements, and concluded with panache. Just as appreciated was the last play before the break, Baby Please Do not Go, which everyone knew. Steve Marriner alternated between the harmonica and the electric guitar while his classmate, very animated, was bringing this train to the station at the speed of the big V. The crowd was heated to white. Too bad the lights went back on.
The music quickly regained its rights, however, and in an amazing way. It happened during the performance of Coat of Mail, a sad song offered to five, Steve Marriner having retreated behind the scenes. The strings were beatlesque, melancholic as in an air of John Ireland, which produced an almost hypnotic effect in favor of a long instrumental passage. Cries of appreciation rose, even if there was no matter to stomp.
The same magic was exerted on Crazy Love, Van Morrison’s immortal. The softness of the strings answered the Mohan Veena of Harry Manx, this instrument made in India, whose 20 strings reproduce the sounds of sitar and guitar. A simple movement is enough to release a cloud of notes charged with resonance. The whole was captivating, enveloping.
Since in the word festival, there is festive, the highlight of the recalls was Can not Be Satisfied, which Harry Manx performed in duet with Steve Marriner. Harmonica. Nerve guitar. Shouts louder and louder. A little earlier, a spectator had said, “We love you, Harry!” The man waited a few seconds before answering, “This is my wife,” then he gave the real answer with this Muddy blues Waters led the charge, irresistible. Summer before summer, so to speak.