The Port Theatre’s Spring Spotlight Series kicks off on Feb. 6 with a performance by Salt Spring Island-based guitarist Harry Manx.
Manx will be delving into his nearly 20-CD catalogue and performing on a variety of instruments. He’s mostly known for playing a 20-string Indian slide guitar/sitar hybrid called the mohan veena, but he’ll also “bang away” on the banjo and cigar box guitar.
“And all the while I’m playing drums with my feet,” he said. “So I’m a one-man band, I guess.”
Manx said it’s been about a year since his last proper tour, and for someone who left home at 15 and has been playing music around the world for the past 50 years, he’s been “living a lifestyle that I haven’t lived before in my life.”
“I joined a band when I left home and so it’s been a really long journey of being on the road and this is a whole new thing for me,” he said. “I find great pleasure in just walking the dog and starting a fire and doing some chores around the house.”
Although like many musicians Manx has had shows cancelled and rescheduled – this past fall he would have been in Europe and Quebec – he said he’s “making the best of the situation” and enjoying his newfound downtime. But if he wrote songs about this time, he said they would be “very soft ballads with a tinge of sadness.”
“If you had given me the option to do this, I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But now that I find myself, maybe like a lot of people, having this space at home to do things, it’s quite enjoyable,” he said. “But of course there’s always this sadness in the background about what is going on in the world.”
This spring Manx is hoping to return to touring with concerts planned around B.C. and into Alberta. But if those plans have to change and those dates are pushed back because of COVID-19, Manx said he can wait a little longer.
“Stuff that was scheduled for the fall got moved to the spring and even then I’m not sure. We’ll have to wait and see…” he said. “But I’m not frustrated or impatient about any of this. I understand the gravity of the world that we live in so I’m very patient and if they want me, I’ll come.”
WHAT’S ON … Harry Manx performs at the Port Theatre on Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Live-stream tickets $12, available here. In-theatre tickets will be available if health orders allow and live-stream ticket holders will be the first informed and permitted to upgrade their tickets.