A review by Tim Caroll on Arnavah’s first CD.
Arnavah is a writer, a ghost-writer and a singer-songwriter. He was born in the United States, grew up in Kenya and has lived and worked in many places. In 2004-5 he spent a year meditating in Pune and working as an Osho books editor. He trained in Core Integration bodywork in Pune and recently trained to facilitate Osho Mystic Rose. Arnavah generally follows his heart, and it has most recently taken him to Beijing.
“This music will take you out of yourself.” Often said – rarely achieved. Finding music that takes you to another place is, for some reason, becoming increasingly difficult. Just when I thought it was only an experience from my youth ‘Songs From Bed’ by Dharma Arnavah took me somewhere else.
This album is an eclectic fusion of folk, rock and blues influences. Perhaps I’m biased, because the timelessness of this music took me back to the early seventies when living in Africa, I threw myself without restraint into African folk music. ‘Songs From Bed’ has strong undercurrents of that tradition but also pours in folk-pop acoustics, electric guitars, saxophone and programming to create a mélange that’s both exotic and homespun.
There are insistent percussive rhythms and soothing, interleaved musical patterns. No two tracks follow suit, each one stands tribute to its own style but fits into the inclusive feel. Dharma’s engaging high-edged, striking vocals also fit the themes to perfection. From the relaxed expectation of ‘All Ways’ you’re into a story from far away that comes really close to home. And there’s the laid back soulful ‘A Song’ complete with gorgeous sax breaks, ‘Shangri La’ with its outstanding percussion, soulful longing in ‘Helpless For You’ and the thoughtful reflection of ‘She’s Is The World’.
Feeling down? Not with this music playing. You can find it here: music.arnavah.com … music that’s good for your soul.
Besides Dharmah Arnavah (lead vocals, guitar, programming) the album features Emmanuel Uzele (guitar, bass, backing vocals) Isaac Anyanga (percussion, additional vocals) Joseph Hellon (saxophone, flute) Morris Kavisi (drums) Hugo de Groote (violin) Kombo C. Burns (guitar) Xu Ying (backing vocals) Kibby Kenneth Mocho (programming).
Tim Carroll, FolkWords