Air date: March 8, 2012
If you practice Kundalini yoga, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the amazing sound of The GuruGanesha Band. Listen in as Ramdesh chats with GuruGanesha Singh, the band’s founder (as well as the founder of Spirit Voyage), and an incredible musician who has made several albums, including his latest, Kundalini Surjhee. Michelle Hurtado, a vocalist with the band whose star is not only rising but also shining and glowing, joins Ramdesh and GuruGanesha. On the kickoff of the band’s upcoming West Coast tour, the two delightful musicians discuss their artistic collaboration.
Michelle, who also plays harmonium among other instruments, has been performing devotional music since she was a child singing in church choirs. Of Cuban heritage, Michelle has been involved with Spanish music, R&B, and rock, as well as spiritual music. Says Michelle, “The GuruGanesha Band is rocking my world.…I’m completely at home with GuruGanesha because he has so many different flavors, and he’s not afraid to rock out. It’s a wonderful experience.”
“I think it’s important when you’re a musician to allow whatever is in your heart and soul to express itself,” observes GuruGanesha. He’s not reluctant to express whatever is flowing through, whether it’s R& B, or music that might be a little “Frank Zappa-esque, or Grateful Dead-esque.” Working with Michelle, he adds, has inspired the band to take things to another level. “There are five guys in the band and we all sing, but it takes five of us to measure up to her!”
Listen to “Aval Allah” from Kundalini Surjhee, a wonderful album and song. “The female voices in the bridges are just off the charts. They take us to the heavens and the ethers. I keep things very grounded with my low male voice and guitar, but the ladies take us up through the tenth gate; that’s what Shakti energy is all about,” says GuruGanesha.
GuruGanesha shares tales of the early days when he went to Yogi Bhajan to seek his blessing for various projects; the two musicians also talk about the laughter and fun they have on the road. The band is about to set off on an extensive west coast tour that culminates in Sat Nam Fest in Joshua Tree, CA on April 12-15, and later will set out on an equally ambitious East Coast tour, so check their schedule to see when they’ll be in a town near you. Michelle and GuruGanesha have written some amazing songs together that will be performed for the first time on this tour.
You’ll also hear GuruGanesha’s lovely “Adi Shakti” from Pure Ganesh (this podcast airs on International Women’s Day so the selection of a mantra honoring the divine feminine is perfect) followed by “Sat Naam” by Michelle from the album Summer Solstice Sadhana 2011 CD Sampler. The podcast closes with a standout, blockbuster track called “Bright Star” from Kundalini Surjhee featuring the glorious voices of Tina Malia and Michelle. This gospel-flavored track honors the divine teacher that lives within each heart.