Krishna Das

Kirtan Wallah

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Continuing to blend Indian call-and-response chanting (Kirtan) with Western influences of country, blues, and rock, New York musician and bhakti yoga "rock star" Krishna Das delivers his 14th album, 2014's richly conceived Kirtan Wallah. Even more so than on his previous recordings, the songs on Kirtan Wallah lean heavily on Das' Western roots, incorporating electric guitars, Hammond organ, and fiddle with bansuri flute, tabla, and his trademark harmonium. On the track "Sri Argala Stotram (Selected Verses)/Show Me Love," he intones a meditative prayer to the Goddess Devi which eventually medleys into the refrain from the power ballad "I Want to Know What Love Is" by '80s rockers Foreigner. Other tracks, like "4AM Hanuman Chalisa" and "I Phoned Govinda," explore folk and Nashville themes which segue lovingly into the more spiritual fare. As always, threaded throughout the album is Das' rich, baritone voice, which is as compelling as it is calming.

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