Airdate: November 9, 2017
Joining Ramdesh today are two members of the GuruGanesha Band — guitarist Sat Kartar Singh, and Gurusangat Singh who plays bass; both are vocalists as well. They share stories about and songs from People of Love, the group’s new album that is infused with an incredible blend of energetic rock and bhakti!
While People of Love is a “fresh and unique delivery of mantra music,” says Ramdesh, the men have been friends for a long time. The musicians all agree that they are totally and completely content with this album; not a note do they wish they could change! It wasn’t rushed in the making, and they really collaborated: “We got some priceless moments,” says Gurusangat.
The friends also had to physically come together to make it work; GuruGanesha and Sat Kartar live in Virginia; Gurusangat resides in Vermont. “There was a real evolution as we worked on it,” says Gurusangat. As they set out to make the album they wanted to come close to what they do as a four-piece live group. We can tell they had a fantastic time (in a meditative way!) and that vibrant energy is really captured on the album. Even though it was recorded in a studio the work has the natural vibe of a live performance.
Sat Kartar adds a shout out to Gurusangat as the executive producer of the album and who was focused on having everything sound authentic. He wanted the voices and instruments to really represent the musicians’ true selves. “This represents all of us and who we are when we come together to create,” Sat Kartar observes.
The song “People of Love” is a good example of that, says Gurusangat. They were accustomed to Snatam Kaur’s version of the song but when they got together with their unique approach and voices, their singular rendition naturally evolved!
GuruGanesha Singh (the founder of Spirit Voyage), Gurusangat Singh, Sat Kartar Singh (the father of sacred chant artist Jai-Jagdeesh) and drummer Fabio Pirozzolo are a love-inspired, mantra-based rock group, beloved by the Kundalini yoga world, notes Ramdesh. They are so friendly and real; they truly are the people of love and their music is “rock ‘n roll for the soul!” Listen to the title track, “People of Love” first. Spoiler alert: you won’t be able to sit still!
The musicians say they have been inspired by the music of the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Dave Matthews Band (GuruGanesha has often said his first guru is Jerry Garcia!). They strive for a full, even sound for the vocals, explains Gurusangat, with all the vocals working together for a great three-part vocal texture. Steely Dan is also an influence for Gurusangat (especially on the track “Humee Hum Tumee Tum” with a chord progression inspired by the group).
“But once we get together all of that goes out the window in deference to what’s happening with each other,” notes Sat Kartar. He loves Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and loved the rich textures of their vocals. “But… it’s true but we also influence each other, too, in very impactful ways.”
When GuruGanesha presented Sat Kartar with the idea for “People of Love” in his office in Virginia, Sat Kartar recalls that he felt very negative about the concept. But then the magic evolved…he got interested and before you knew it he was totally sold on what became an “epic piece.” The men try to be honest with each other and through that honesty they come up with a result which they end up collaboratively loving and “that is the beauty of GuruGanesha Band in its current incarnation,” says Sat Kartar.
The men begin their compositions with mantras and are fueled by their devotion to their Kundalini yoga practice. “The people of love” are words that Yogi Bhajan gave, and that gives extra-added love to the musical recipe.
“Aad Guray Nameh” is up next. It’s special to Ramdesh because she heard the group rehearsing it once in Joshua Tree, California, and it was so apparent to her how much fun and joy they were experiencing. The two artists talk about their creative process, too. Listen to their commentary and enjoy this mantra for protection.
The band members (quite the jokesters) also share funny stories from their travels on the road. Sat Kartar says, “Touring is like frying bacon in the nude: you know it’s going to hurt but you’re not exactly sure where!” On the road, two things are of great value; a comfortable place to sleep, and enjoyable food. The two friends relate some fun-loving stories about life on the road and what happens when the guys get “hangry” (hungry and angry!). Needless to say, their tour led them into a bit of… troubled times!
Speaking of which, listen to “Troubled Times” (incorporating Long Time Sun) next and “come together for each other!” Go to GuruGaneshaBand.com for more info, and sign on for crowdsourcing the music video of their song “People of Love.” You can take a quick video on your iPhone and upload it to the group’s website. “Live for each other, and be the people of love!”