September 5, 2010

Review: Amy Barnes Nandini- Daughter of Bliss. ~ Karen Hogg

Amy Barnes Debut CD a Must Have for Kirtan Listeners!

The popularity of kirtan, the devotional practice of chanting, has grown in recent years. Artists such as Jai Uttal, Wah!, and Snatam Kaur have brought this art form to a wider audience. Nashville native Amy Barnes’ debut CD, Nandini – Daughter of Bliss, is a welcome addition to the collection of any kirtan enthusiast. Barnes, the daughter of a yoga teacher and a Methodist minister, has created a collection of chants that lift the spirit and make the heart sing.

“Radhe Govinda,” the opening track, combines eastern-influenced percussion with dobro, a decidedly Nashville touch. Vocalist Daniel Tucker adds an inspired ecstatic vocal solo to this composition. “Jay Krishna Radhe” features a heavenly performance by guest artist, bansuri flute player Manose. Barnes’ lovely vocals virtually float over this ethereal piece. Another standout is “Sita Ram,” a joyful chant that Barnes composed with her guitar in an open C tuning. Barnes’ mentor, Jai Uttal, plays dotar on this track. The last song, “Shiva Gospel,” combines the traditional gospel tune “Walking in Jerusalem” with an “Om namah shivaya” chant. This track really sums up the essence of Amy Barnes. With ease and grace, she artfully mixes eastern and western musical and spiritual influences into one beautiful sound.

Karen Hogg is a musician/yoga instructor/author living in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been teaching yoga since 2001. She has written two instructional books for guitar: Guitar Made Easy and Women in Rock. Her articles previously appeared in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Fretboard Journal, and All About Jazz New York. When not playing guitar or practicing yoga, she spends most of her free time with her puppy, Luna.  If you want to follow her blog or want to know more, visit Karen’s website.

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