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

WOMAD TARANAKI 2014: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

WOMAD TARANAKI 2014: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

As those who have followed Elsewhere would know, we here have long been interested in -- and have written extensively about -- "world music", long before many others. In fact, a quick... > Read more

NURU KANE PROFILED (2013): A colourful tapestry of sound

NURU KANE PROFILED (2013): A colourful tapestry of sound

One of problems world music artists suffer is some preciousness in their audience which would preserve them in amber like an anthropological specimen. They want an artist to remain true to some... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Tom Lehrer; An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer

THE BARGAIN BUY: Tom Lehrer; An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer

In one of the university courses I take, I spend a couple of hours on a lecture under the title -- lifted from Frank Zappa -- "Does Humour Belong in Music?" The general point is that... > Read more

IN BETWEEN DAYS by ANDREW PORTER

IN BETWEEN DAYS by ANDREW PORTER

Under a title which becomes increasingly ambiguous as his cleverly structured narrative gets deeper and darker (night? limbo?), American writer Porter has crafted a novel of emotional insight,... > Read more