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During 1968 and 1969 I was learning mridangam from Nellai P. S. Devarajan who was accompanying Swamy Haridhos so I was part of Swamy’s (or Guruji as he was generally called) entourage and was lucky enough to take part in yatras, concerts and ashram life. This album was actually recorded the first night I met him and my guru.
The great singer/saint Swamy Haridhos and his followers in a long concert of religious singing from New Years Day 1968. Music and devotion in equal parts. The last tracks will be found on digital-only album CEX14
Not only was Swamy Haridhos an extremely charismatic leader, preacher and singer, head and shoulders taller than ordinary bhajan singers, but as such he attracted the participation of top notch accompanists.
In this recording from Gita Govinda Hall in Bombay you hear him with his regular partners at this time, the harmonium giant Muthunathesa Bhagvatar and mridangam vidwan P.S. Devarajan plus young violinist K. Shivakumar and K. Ramani on tabla.
More info and links below
- Invocation: Ram Ram (1:42)
- Hari Narayana - Mayamalava Gaula (2:01)
- Invocation: Gopika Jivana Smaranam (4:20)
- Mushika Vahana - Gambira Nattai - khandam (3:29)
- Mandare Mule - Gambira Nattai - khandam (0:44)
- Saranu Saranu - Arabhi - misram (3:32)
- Murahara Nakadara - Madhyamavati - adi (2:57)
- Devaye Shakanaradhita - Saveri - rupakam (2:48)
- Madhava Bhavatu te - Mayamalava Gaula - adi (1:46)
- Govinda Madhava - Mayamalava Gaula - adi (3:04)
- Slokam: Brahmanandam Parama Sukhadam - Sankarabharanam (3:57)
- Ragam: Sankarabharanam: harmonium-violin (2:29)
- Gurumurthi Pada Mule - Sankarabharanam - khandam (8:42)
- Namavali: Gangadhara - Sankarabharanam - adi (2:09)
- Slokam: Vandhe Mohana Mohinim - Bageshri (4:46)
- Mori Laga Lagana - Bageshri - adi (6:20)
- Sadguru Vachony - Mohanam - adi (2:57)
- Namavali: Sadguru Jai Jai - Mohanam - adi (1:37)
- Slokam: Odhum Pala - Bhairavi (4:26)
- Ragam: Bhairavi - harmonium-violin (5:00)
- Sri Gurunatha - Bhairavi - adi (6:51)
Swamy Haridhos, vocal
Choir of devotees
Muthunathesa Bhagvatar, harmonium
P.S. Devarajan, mridangam
K. Shivakumar, violin
K. Ramani, tabla.
The album was released in 2010.
Here is a slide show of press photos
and one with some more photos from the 1968 yatra (pilgrimage).
“Without equivocation, one of the finest field recordings to be released by the Swedish label Country & Eastern” – Link to a fabolous review at AAJ
and a Review by Kent Hunt in Pulse Magazine, feb 2011: “Musically it is in contact with the earth while reaching for the stars… a candidate for the finest field recording of bhajans…that you will ever hear in your life.”
Muthunathesa Bhagvatar, P.S. Devarajan, and K. Shivakumar have a digital-only instrumental album of their own, Karnatic Harmonium, cex13