Girish has been flying under the radar in the midst of the exploding kirtan world for well over a decade. For many years Girish was the “tabla player of choice” for artists like Krishna Das, Wah!, Snatam Kaur, Rasa, Dave Stringer, and more. Seems like nobody knew he could sing so soulfully, kind of like Dave Matthews, and that his songwriting and flawless production were about to emerge. Over the course of his three releases, Girish has established himself as a major artist in the world of sacred vocal music, and a welcome male voice among all the women who sing so magnificently. His debut “Reveal” remains a favorite of many, myself included, as it pulses with global rhythms, sweet melodies and heartfelt devotion, and “Shiva Machine” laid down several new directions via mesmerizing trance-funk grooves, trip-hop devotional dirges and heart warming electro-acoustic ballads. Over 200 people invested physically, financially & energetically to make this new CD an expression of a larger global force. With “Diamonds in the Sun” Girish & friends have found the perfect blend of musical styles, pure inspiration, tender ballads, and that awesome combining of chant form and English lyrics a la Donna DeLory & others. In fact, Donna’s “Sanctuary” was probably my favorite CD last year, and “Diamonds in the Sun” plays beautifully next to her collection of exquisite songs. Donna lends her vocal magic to many tracks on “Diamonds in the Sun”, as does C. C. White and other fine singers. I asked Girish what some of his favorite CDs are, and he responded “it’s wide and varied; for Yoga it’s Krishna Das (“Door of Faith,”) at other times there’s all kinds of music that touches me, such as Wilco (“Sky Blue Sky”), Sufjan Stevens (“Illinois”) and Joni Mitchell (“Shine”)”.
Each song on “Diamonds in the Sun” is a complete and full offering, with occasional horn sections, r’n’b arrangements, soulful rhythms and prayerful choruses that build to convergent conclusions that satisfy, track after track. Girish shared “it’s been a 2-3 year journey, from basic thumb nail sketches, as foundation, to laying down the original tracks with a solid live rhythm section on hand. The rest was drawn from Pakistan to Portland, via Skype, and other forms of audio technology.” During this time Girish upgraded his home studio in quantum leaps towards getting vocals down perfectly. You can hear for yourself, as the energy is brought forth, reflecting his own personal evolution as producer and musician. Girish wrote, arranged, & produced all of the songs, & is on lead vocals, guitar, harmonium, percussion. Guest artists include Greg Ellis, Quinn, Benjy Wertheimer, James Harrah, Ian Walker, Georges Lamman, Greg Leisz and many others. The title track is quite self-explanatory, and was written on his recent third trip to India, expressing the understanding that not far below the surface of who we think we are, we all are “Diamonds in The Sun”. There are honestly too many standout tracks to highlight, although “Lakshmi” and “Saraswati” are so very flowing, and “Om Namah Shivayah” lends itself to new meaning within the setting that develops. The closing track, “Long Time Sun” also soars with a pure and heavenly design. If you don’t find yourself singing, swaying, moving and grooving with these tracks, I’ll be surprised. This is infectious, encompassing music to lift your spirits and soothe your soul.