We are pleased to premiere the video “Nothing” by multiple award-winners Harry Manx and Steve Marriner from their upcoming album, Hell Bound for Heaven out April 5 via Stony Plain Records.
This is the first recording collaboration of two roots music award-winning giants: Harry Manx and Steve Marriner (of MonkeyJunk), known as Manx Marriner Mainline.
“Nothing” from Hell Bound for Heaven, is outstanding rootsy blues and showcases the duo’s undeniable talent on vocals, guitars, harmonica, banjo, and more. It’s no wonder that between them they have won multiple Juno Awards, Maple Blues Awards and more. These are two powerhouse musicians who collaborated on an album for the very first time.
Produced by Harry Manx and Steve Marriner, Hell Bound for Heaven features Manx on vocals, slide guitar, banjo, and his trademark Mohan Veena, and Marriner on vocals, electric, slide, baritone and 12-string guitars, harmonica, bass, Hammond organ and drums. Each contributed several songs to the record, as well as covering some blues and gospel gems, ranging from Charlie Patton and Reverend Gary Davis, to Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples and the traditional (“This Little Light of Mine.”)
Joining the two on the recording sessions were Clayton Doley on Hammond organ and Moe Duella on drums, with background vocals supplied by three different aggregations, dubbed “The Gamblers,” “The Marrinaires” and “The Sahaja Singers.”
Harry Manx and Steve Marriner share a musical chemistry that only comes from a span of many years, playing hundreds of shows, sharing as many stages, and travelling countless miles on the road together. Both very accomplished musicians in their own right, Hell Bound for Heaven started as an elusive idea and blossomed into a beautiful reality. Hell Bound for Heaven can only be described as a true reflection of two phenomenal musicians, joining forces to demonstrate their love of blues and gospel music.
“I’ve had the honor of knowing Steve Marriner for a long time,” recalls Harry Manx about the genesis of their meeting. “It must have been around 2002 when he showed up at a club I was playing in Ottawa. He was with his father because he was only 16 and too young to drive (or drink). He asked me if he could sit in playing harmonica on a few tunes. I have to admit I was taken aback by him because he looked so young and innocent. I remember being impressed at how nice a kid he was, and for a moment I jokingly thought ‘he’s too nice a kid to be playing the blues!’ Anyhow, I agreed to let him sit in for a song. When he started in on a solo, I was floored; so was the crowd. He played like he was channeling Sonny Boy Williamson or Little Walter. There was no insecurity or shyness, none of that; just pure belting out all the right notes with a power that didn’t fit his age. The crowd went nuts and stood up to applaud him. I was speechless. I even tried to hide the harmonica I had on my amp. No way I was going to play that around him!”
“Working with Harry on Hell Bound for Heaven was the realization of something that has been coming for many years,” acknowledges Marriner. “Before we were friends, I was a fan. I nearly wore his record Dog My Cat out! From the first time we met and played together nearly twenty years ago, Harry has been a mentor to me. A major influence. His unique synthesis of traditional blues and Indian classical music is so compelling, and his original songwriting is so profound.”
Steve Marriner is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and record producer who first was first recognized in his early teens as a prodigy blues harp player. He also plays baritone guitar, electric guitar, piano, Hammond organ, upright bass, and electric bass. Marriner has won “Harmonica Player of the Year” by the Maple Blues Awards in 2018, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, and also in 2009 won “Male Vocalist of the Year” by the Maple Blues Awards. Since 2008 he was the frontman, singer and guitarist and harmonica player for the Canadian rock and roll blues group, MonkeyJunk. The band won the 2012 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year for, To Behold.
Harry Manx is a Canadian musician who plays slide guitar, harmonica, six-string banjo, mohan veena and Ellis stomp box. He has released twelve albums in twelve years and has received seven Maple Blues Awards, six Juno nominations, the Canadian Folk Music Award in 2005 for Best Solo Artist, and CBC Radio’s “Great Canadian Blues Award” in 2007.
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