The debut from ex-punk-rocker-turned-yogi Raghunath served as my traveling companion on a drive along the rocky coast of Maine.
The album’s broad strokes, energized layers, and variety of beats proved to be a fine sonic complement to the rush and fade of Atlantic waters. The artist/yogi (never without his harmonium) is beloved worldwide for his spirited teachings incorporating asana, pranayama and live music. This release has been long anticipated and worth the wait.
Channeling his beloved bhakti (devotion), Raghunath opens in a spoken word salute “Prayers to My Teachers.” He and his tribe of musicians then launch into “Krishna Jinka Naama Hai,” a rocker infused with traces of the artist’s pilgrimages through India. The track features spirited vocals driven by mrdunga percussion produced with clay Bengali drums. “Kunja Bihari (featuring Janaki Kagel)” and “Hey Ram!” were two standouts perfect for an energized vinyasa playlist. With his self-described “collection of love songs,”Raghunath and his band of bhaktas are clearly having fun in their musical celebration — at times many of the songs even take on the vibe of a cheer.
Raghu refers to the collection as, “A joyous meditation to the Divine from a destitute diva, calling out in love, appreciation, longing and gratitude.” Humbly delivered, Krishna Kirtan serves up new twists on chant and is a welcome addition to the kirtan vault. It’s an ideal soundtrack for an energized practice — or a road trip along some wandering coastline.