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For his ninth release, chant artist and singer-songwriter David Newman (Durga Das) assembled an international cast of extraordinary musicians with the aim of expanding the stylistic and sonic dimensions of devotional chant music (“kirtan”). The result is Travel Well, an enlivening collection of sacred songs and kirtan jams cohesively expressing the healing essence of traditional mantra through folk, blues, rock, Americana, reggae, Afro-Caribbean and ambient styles. Travel Well is music without boundaries - a soundtrack to accompany the dance of life, and the timeless journey of the heart.
The Travel Well creative process led to David’s first time working with live strings and a horn section, giving the album the exhilarating live feel one experiences in the over 100 concerts he performs each year, while showcasing David’s gifts as singer, composer and arranger.
Travel Well’s musical moods shift seamlessly from velvety, melodic, kirtan serenades (“Sri Guru Sharanam” and “Resting in Rasa”) to poetic devotional ballads such as “Change of Heart,” “Summertime,” “New You” and “Halo,” to straight-up ecstatic kirtan. “Ambe Ma” is pure rock and roll, while “Jai Hanuman!” (on which David’s daughter, Tulsi, makes a guest appearance) is driven by an infectious Afro-Carribean groove and features a full-on, Muscle Shoals-style horn section. David also delves into reggae (on “Roots Radhe”) and blues (with an electrified backporch Sita Ram chant entitled “Beloved’s Blues”). The album-closing title track is a moving and healing ambient lullaby penned in honor of the children lost in 2012’s Newtown tragedy.
Travel Well was recorded in David’s hometown of Philadelphia and in New York City, and features a deeply talented cast of musicians beginning with his wife, Mira, a celebrated devotional singer and percussionist. The album is also graced by musical contributions from Canadian chant artist Brenda McMorrow and Italy’s Emy Berti (vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Philippo Franchini. David’s good friend Donna De Lory contributes a guest vocal performance as well.
Travel Well is co–produced by David, Mira, Philippo Franchini, Frank Wolf (who produced David’s Love Peace Chant and Lotus Feet albums), and Bill Moriarty (producer of David’s Stars release).
1.) Sri Guru Sharanam -6:39
2.) Change of Heart -5:07
3.) Jai Hanuman! -6:13
4.) New You -4:58
5.) Roots Radhe -4:43
6.) Beloved's Blues -5:57
7.) Summertime -4:22
8.) Ambe Ma -7:1
9.) Halo -4:27
10.) Resting In Rasa -5:49
11.) Travel Well -9:19
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