113007 Harry Manx and Kevin Breit, Peterborough, ON

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Despite just barely enduring a four-night wallop of excellent music in Toronto at the hands of Neil Young, Elvis Perkins, and Bon Iver I just couldn’t resist stopping in Peterborough on the way home for consecutive concert number five, a subdued affair hosted by the wonderful Harry Manx and the inimitable Kevin Breit.

Peterborough is a pretty cool little town with a campus and a record store and more than it’s fair share of hip cafes serving vegan bacon sandwiches and the like.  Some good music comes out of Peterborough too (The Spades spring to mind), but I can’t think if I’ve ever seen a show there, aside from nero.  I guess most shows hitting Peterborough also roll through Ottawa so I’ve never had cause to go. 

But here I was on November 30th, 2007 driving right by Peterborough (or not, as turns out) with my favourite living guitar player in town backing up a fine player who was steeped in one of my favourite musical genres.  

The favourite guitar player is, of course, Kevin Breit, who I’d been musically stalking since I accidentally stumbled upon him a bar in Toronto called The Orbit Room back in, oh I don’t know, 1999 or so?  

The favourite genre is Indian classical music and the player of it in question is Harry Manx, a fine player indeed who I’ve been watching with my eyes closed tight in raga bliss since I saw him playing the tiny Ottawa Folklore Centre Stage at the Ottawa Bluesfest circa 2001 (does anyone remember when the OFC had a workshop stage at Bluesfest?!?!).

Harry Manx and Kevin Breit were touring their second album together, the excellent In Good We Trust and while not a lot stands out in my memory about this show it’s likely due to oxygen deprivation – I was probably holding my breath for the whole time.

This was beck when I had a serious thing for Kevin Breit.  I just could. not. get. enough. of. the. guy.  Luckily I had plenty of chances to see him play (still do) and whatever the setting, whether he was playing the electric guitar or the bazouki I could only sit transfixed, my hands held over my mouth in explosive musical glee.  

And Harry’s relaxed raga-appropriation was the perfect canvas for Kevin to cast his mind-bending Jackson Pollock-like lines upon.  I loved both the albums they had out at the time and could only have loved the show.

I do know I drove three and-a-half hours east along the highway 7 after the show so I could sleep in my own bed that night.

I had to, I had tickets to consecutive concert number six in Ottawa the next evening.

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