Krishna Das’ ‘Live Ananda’ Earns Grammy Nomination; Kirtan Grammy Would Be A First (Breaking News)

by Brenda Patoine on December 6, 2012

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Grammy Nominated

Kirtan at the Grammys?  Now that would be cool.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

Chantmaster Krishna Das, the legendary “rock star of yoga,” has earned a nod from the Grammy nominators for Live Ananda, which is up for Best New Age Album of the Year.  It is only the second time in history, to our knowledge, that a kirtan album has been in the running for the music industry’s top prize; the first time was in 2003, when Jai Uttal’s groundbreaking Mondo Rama was nominated in the same category.  (No, there is no “Kirtan” Grammy category, or even “Yoga Music” for that matter – yet.)

That’s right.  From here on out, KD shall be known as the Grammy-nominated chantmaster of American yoga.

Well, that is, until — and if — we can call him the Grammy-winning blahblahblah.  That would be a first for the little devotional-music niche that is call-and-response chant, itself a mere drop in the catch-all bucket of “new age” music.

Live Ananda was recorded, well, live at Ananda.  Ananda Ashram, that is, the Yoga Society of New York’s retreat and spiritual center in Monroe, N.Y., at the feet of the Catskills and the heart of the Bhajan Belt, where KD used to hold yearly workshops.  Live Ananda captures five long, sweet songs — each a KD classic from his early recordings — co-performed with an exuberant audience of chanters during a three-day retreat in 2007.  It was released in January 2012 without a lot of fanfare as far as we could tell, digitally only and only through iTunes (much to the dismay of Apple haters everywhere, and those of us who still like to have and hold an actual CD, complete with cover art and liner notes).  UPDATE: Nina Rao tells us that Live Ananda is going to be re-released this month in “hard” form — cover art, liner notes and all.

I have to confess: this was the one KD release that I did not own.  I mean, I’m as big a KD fan as you can find (bias alert!), but somehow I couldn’t get too excited about this CD.  After the brilliance of Heart as Wide as the World (2010), KD’s first studio album in 12 years (with Grammy-nominated producer David Nichtern), maybe it felt anti-climactic – I played that disc night and day for months.  Plus, I already owned — and loved — every single live recording he ever did.  That and a pesky password problem with iTunes kept me from downloading it when it came out, and I just never went back — until this morning’s announcement.   A Grammy nomination?  How come I don’t own this?!

Well, now I do.  And you’ll want it too, because, well, it’s Grammy-nominated.  That, and it’s classic KD all the way: soulful, deep, heart wide open to the world, singing for his guru and taking us right along with him to that place he goes… 

The much-anticipated Grammy nominations were announced by The Recording Academy Dec. 5 at a concert broadcast live from Nashville, Tenn., marking a count-down to the 55th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10.  Nominees are selected by voting members of the Recording Industry Association of America, who can each vote in up to nine music categories.

What would KD do?

So, now that KD is officially a nominee, we can’t help but wonder if he’ll capture one of the coveted live-performance slots at Music’s Biggest Night (even if he is scheduled to be at Blue Spirit in Costa Rica at the time — that’s what satellite feeds are for, right?).  What would KD do?  Wouldn’t it be something to witness the chantmaster and his band on stage at the Grammys, leading the superstar crowd in the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, broadcast live to the world? 

Stranger things have happened at the Grammys.  Have you watched this awards show lately?  This is the night the music world’s biggest stars pull out all the stops, and sometimes go right over the top.  (What was up with that Nicki Minaj “exorcism” last year?)  With that kind of act to follow, KD might need to take a page from a memorable music video in the closet of his past (one we venture he’d prefer to forget)…something involving snake-dancing goddesses and a decidedly Christ-like KD, perhaps?

Naaah, that’s not gonna happen.  A duet with Sting for Mountain Hare Krishna has been suggested, a nod to Pilgrim Heart (1998).  Or how about a pair-up with Bob Dylan for Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, ala KD’s surprise move at Omega Ecstatic Chant last fall — have you seen this?

Play along with us:  if Krishna Das was going to sing at the Grammys, what song would you want to hear?  Tell us in the comments! 

Links

LIVE ANANDA on Krishna Das’ website
Direct Link to LIVE ANANDA on iTunes
Krishna Das website
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards Nominations 

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Krishna Das, Bhakti ‘Rock Star,’ Keeping It Real
Krishna Das In the Spotlight, Reluctantly, at Bhakti Fest Midwest All-Wallah Finale
Amazing Grace by Krishna Das After Bhakti Fest Rain-Out
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen Callahan December 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

“Heart as Wide as the World” gets my vote….

Shree Raam Jai Raam Jai Jai Raam !!!

AllOne All LOVE

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Brenda Patoine December 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

mmmmm…love this love ballad to his guru. No rules that say he has to sing something from the nominated record, right? But he’d have to go with a 3-minute version of just about anything , or the Grammy time keepers would be all over his Shri Ram Jai Ram!

Jai Jai!

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sandy December 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

“imagine”……with john lennon

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Stacy December 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I would love to see KD do a 3-minute duet with Sting for Mountain Hare Krishna. What a beautifully haunting chant!

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Marcia Rosen December 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Wow, a duet with Sting would be awesome!
My personal fave is Mere Gurudev, which always brings tears to my eyes, but a call and response chant with the audience at the Grammys; now that would be something!

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