Krishna Das tells us he sings kirtan to save his ass, and that if he happens to save anyone else’s in the process, it’s just a happy by-product of his own practice. Dear KD, it’s okay if it works for you to frame what you do that way, but I am pretty sure at this point that you are in the ass-saving business.
Kirtan Wallah is the 14th release from the Grammy-nominated “Rockstar of Yoga,” and it delivers an epic dose of posterior-redemption, this time with a slightly different sound—mantra spoken in a country/folk/rock vernacular. Kirtan Wallah is an artful mash-up of traditional Indian melodies and instrumentation, with the familiar swing of Americana we might find if Leonard Cohen were to play the Grand Ole Opry.
“Radhe Govinda”, a traditional track gives way to “Sri Argala Stotram,” on which KD’s daughter, Janaki, adds her sweet vocals before the song swells into Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” “Waltzing My Krishna” puts me at the saloon while I wassail my mug of chai. “Saraswati” is a gentle, heartfelt track with guitar work reminiscent of Keith Richards’ “Wild Horses”. “4AM Hanuman Chalisa” is a playful version of the 40-verse musical poem. The album closes with the campfire sing-a-long, “I Phoned Govinda,” leaving our newly saved asses sitting in the saddle as we ride the range to find our sangha.
Bottom line: Don’t miss this album. It might be his best yet.
Zoë Kors is the managing editor of LA Yoga, a certified life coach and a true bhakta.