Our debut album Heart Centered Kirtan is a tribute to the memory of Jeff Martell and the music that he and kirtan collaborator Libby Volckening made together before Jeff's untimely death in January 2016. The 10 original compositions weave Sanskrit mantras, hymns and aphorisms from ancient India with Jeff and Libby's own blend of rock, folk, blues, and reggae. A rousing a capella chorus opens the bluesy first track Om Namah Shivaya, which is followed by two of the livelier tunes on the CD, Govinda Gopala Narayana and Bhagavan Kripalu. The mood shifts with the tender Om Cecilia, written in praise of the Catholic saint who sang her heart out to God, and features a chorus of heart-melting harmonies. The following track Even Kali Gets the Blues offers a fierce interpretation of a verse from the Devi Argala Stotram. Next up is Om Asatoma percolating with percussion, followed by one of the most popular songs of the album Ishvara Pranidhana, inspired by the 12-step slogan "Let go and let God." The edgy Mahamrtyunjaya Mantra is intensified by a powerful electric guitar solo, and then the mood lightens with the a sweet interpretation of the classic Purnam Adah shanti mantra. The album closes with the Saraswati bija mantra, a compelling blend of Martell's rich voice and acoustic guitar interwoven with wistful South Indian flute. We hope this album makes you want to "Sing all the time!"
CDs are available for $15 at all our kirtans, AwenTree, the Wendell Country Store, via PayPal (see below), or you can buy them through the mail by sending a check or money order to: Heart Centered Kirtan, P.O. Box 556, Greenfield, MA 01302. 10% of the sales of our CDs, t-shirts, and hoodies are donated to Northern Hope Center, a residential substance abuse recovery program in Greenfield, Massachusetts. We've donated $330 to date. Please contact us with any questions.
For lyrics and meanings of the songs on the CD, scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the PDF or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heart Centered Kirtan Debut Album To Be Celebrated On Saturday by Cheli Menella, Live Music and News Review, Nov 1, 2017
Sounds Local: ‘Heart Centered Kirtan’ captures the essence of late Pioneer Valley musician by Sheryl Hunter, The Recorder, Nov 2 2017
Tuned In: Remembering Jeff Martell by Jeff Maiuri, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Nov 3 2017