Doug Cox and Salil Bhatt: Slide to Freedom (Northern Blues)

 |   |  <1 min read

Doug Cox and Salil Bhstt: Fish Pond
Doug Cox and Salil Bhatt: Slide to Freedom (Northern Blues)

One of the many joys of Elsewhere is the unsolicited and unexpected mail, not the least when a CD like this -- dobro-meets-Indian music -- arrives all the way from a subscriber in Canada.

Guitarist Doug Cox -- who produces the Vancouver Island MusicFest and has been a long-time subscriber to Elsewhere -- sent me this terrific album which has since commanded considerable airtime at my place.

It stands at the crossroads of East and West (where the twain joyfully meet) and finds Doug with Salil Bhatt on satvik veena, and with a tabla player. The veena is a guitar-like Indian instrument and Bhatt's father Mohan (who also guests here) invented a variant of it which he plays on two superb pieces on this album.

Many such East-West albums can sound like forced fusions, but here songs by Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie Johnson sit seamlessly alongside original material by Cox and the Bhatts. The similar tones of dobro and veenas are entirely in sympathy, and on the instrumental tracks which stretch past the seven-minute mark there is an improvised exoticism at work which rests easily between West and East.

Don't take my word for it: Dave Rubin of Guitar Player magazine said this was a "stunning, groundbreaking marriage of the blues and Indian classical music".

Dave's right.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

TARANAKI WOMAD 2015; THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

TARANAKI WOMAD 2015; THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

Longtime Elsewhere readers will know that we here always keep our ears on what the rest of the planet is doing . . . hence our longstanding World Music pages where international albums are... > Read more

Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang: En Yay Sah (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang: En Yay Sah (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

This excitingly duffed-up world beat/low-rent psychedelic rock has a wild urban pedigree which comes through in its stupidly different but absolutely addictive Afro-meets-Manhattan groove. Juju... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Christian Sands: Facing Dragons (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

Christian Sands: Facing Dragons (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

Those who read the band names on albums by Gregory Porter and Christian McBride will recognise the keyboard player's name on this. Christian Sands is not on McBride's latest album New Jawn... > Read more

Al Jolson: Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1950)

Al Jolson: Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1950)

It's widely accepted that after he came out of the army in Germany, Elvis Presley's career quickly went on the skids with lousy movies and soft songs. Well, not quite. His first album when... > Read more