BluGuru – Ragas 2 Blu Riches
CD Review by Ian Dearden
Take two prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalists (Josh Bennett and Andrew Clermont), combine them with the soulful and stunning vocals of Parvyn Singh, ferment them in performances in the Dya Singh world experience (Parvyn is Dya’s daughter), and the product is BluGuru.
Drawing on musical experiences and influences as disparate as the blues, country, Celtic, bluegrass, Indian classical, Bollywood, western swing, bluegrass and psychedelia, BluGuru blow me away with their breathtaking musicianship, exquisite and soaring harmonies and cheeky charm!
Josh Bennett admits to being fascinated by “strings, skins and hollow things”, and in addition to his elegant acoustic and electric guitar playing, he also plays sitar, dilruba (bowed sitar) and tablas.
Andrew Clermont (a man ubiquitous throughout country, folk, indie and world music circles in Australia) turns up here playing fiddle, mandolin, mandola, acoustic guitar and didgeridoo.
Josh and Andrew both sing and harmonise superbly and Parvyn (who reminds me at times of Norah Jones) soars above Josh and Andrew, with a voice that sits comfortably in any of this album’s extraordinary grab bag of styles.
Of course, with so much talent to draw on, the challenge is to harness and direct it.
The production talents of Andrew Clermont draws together live recordings of four songs from a house concert at “Jack and Paula’s” (lucky Jack & Paula) and programs them seamlessly with eight studio recordings from Tamworth’s Enrec Studios.
My particular favourites on this album were the countrified numbers – “Old Man In The Mill” with its matchless harmonies, the heartbreaking “Ghost In This House”, and the “Fiddle Tune Medley” where Josh and Andrew get to show off their impressive guitar chops!
The album concludes with the hypnotic and entrancing traditional Indian song, “Tu Thakin”, in which Parvyn’s vocals have me drifting off towards transcendence.
If ever you needed proof positive of the amazing musical riches brought to this country from the many cultures and ethnicities which make up our modern day Australia, this album would be exhibit 1.
It’s a wonderful and delicious collision of sounds, cultures, musical styles and instrumentation, superbly realised by this talented trio.
Look for them live when you get the chance and buy this CD.
You will not regret it.