In the final shows of their inaugural tour, The GuruGanesha Band will be joined by Professor Paramjeet Singh, a scholar, raga historian, and master of classical Indian music who was GuruGanesha Singh’s own raga teacher.
“People are in for a treat,” GuruGanesha told The Bhakti Beat. “He is an amazing vocalist with a five-octave range.”
GuruGanesha said Professor Paramjeet composed “a good portion” of the music for Aval Allah, a track on GuruGanesha’s latest solo CD, Kundalini Surjhee. The song is based around a classical Indian raga called Bhairavi, he said, to which GuruGanesha added an intro and bridges that showcase the band’s virtuosity in strings and vocals.
When we heard The GuruGanesha Band play Aval Allah live at their June 2 concert, we were mesmerized. It had a primal feel — almost tribal — that resonated deeply. GuruGanesha told us that Middle Eastern/Northern African sound comes from a flatted second, sixth and seventh in the scale. (Music buffs know what he’s talking about, right?) All we know is this was a prayer for the senses. Rich layers of musical tapestry enveloped the ancient lyrics, punctuated by the very modern twang of GuruGanesha’s smokin’ electric guitar work, Michelle Hurtado’s soaring vocals, and the almost unearthly wails of Hans Christian’s cuticle-shredding fingerwork on the saranghi (just watch the pained expressions on his face in the video below).
Turns out it was the first time in quite awhile that the band has played this song live, GuruGanesha told us afterward. “It felt like it really clicked.”
Um, yeah. The crowd at the historic little town hall in Shelburne, Vt. — many of whom were experiencing “mantra music” for the first time ever — were apparently as riveted as we were. They exploded with applause at the song’s end.
See for yourself in the video below. And if you’re anywhere near Toronto or London, Ontario June 8-10, go see The GuruGanesha Band with special guest Paramjeet Singh. We have it on good advice that they’ll be playing Aval Allah…