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Shakti Guitar by Stevin McNamara (White Swan Records) takes us on a mystical sound journey through time. As the impeccable touch of McNamara’s guitar opens our senses, we become enveloped by the emotive melodies lilting throughout this beautiful album.
I have always loved the sound of the guitar; from that alone I was looking forward to hearing Shakti Guitar. Yet, as I listened, it became clear that I was hearing much more than mere guitar artistry. McNamara’s approach to this instrument is based on the traditional Indian musical form called Raga, which means “that which colors the mind.”
It is believed that when this music is played properly at the correct time of day, the musician and the Raga blend to create a new musical being.It is this unique musical being that I heard emanating from McNamara’s touch caressing the guitar. In this song cycle, McNamara moves us through the moods of a 24-hour day. It begins by awakening us into a radiant dawn; we then enter midday and evening; it continues until we are resting in our night dreams.
Included on this emotional ride are the exquisite percussive beats played by Christo Pellani, beautiful vocals by Sheela Bringi and Mala Ganguly, plus other artists playing world instruments such as bansuri, sarod, and tabla. You will find your own resonant journey as you travel through this wonderful mood experience.
Jahna Perricone - LAYOGA magazine
“Raga Cycle of "Shakti Guitar" Follows The Sun - Innovative, Indian Raga-Inspired Guitar Artistry From Stevin McNamara -- His New Album SHAKTI GUITAR; A YOGIC JOURNEY FROM RADIANT DAWN TO DEEPEST NIGHT Coming From White Swan Records on September 23rd, 2014”
Cheryl McEnaney - PRWeb
“PRANA GROOVE (CD) BY STEVIN MCNAMARA White Swan Records In the hustle and bustle of the popular world, it is important we take moments to transform outer day to day stress to a more centered inner calm. Beyond exotic environments, pleasing colors, and tranquil smiles, music is a key ingredient in the medicinal process of linking body, mind, and beyond. Feeling these good ‘vibes’ deeply infuses our psyche, and Prana Groove is founded on this notion. Steven McNamara lets his rhythmic groove flow with primordial energy. Just as our breath moves prana, his fingers are an extension of this dance. This album is essentially 3 “movements” blended together with melodic elements based on Rag Malkauns – a raga to be played late at night based on a penta-tonic scale. The tempo is 108 beats per minute, chosen for its sacred value. A groove can strike you at any time and, prepared or not, you must go where it takes you. If you happen upon Prana Groove, it will take you far out.”
Michael Blahut - LA Yoga Magazine
“Organic resonance This is what I want when I listen to music, any kind of music. I want to be able to set my imagination on fire. When I close my eyes and listen, I want to be able to visualize landscapes and places I have never even seen with my own two eyes. I want to be transported and moved out of my own body, yet still want the music to resonate with my very core, on a very organic level. I want to feel good once the music stops. With Stevin’s Prana Groove, this is exactly what you get. I guess now I stand corrected about yoga music. Let’s light a fire under the moonlight, shall we ?”
Emmanuelle Lambert - The Magazine of Yoga
“Shanti Guitar Stevin McNamara 2012 This album encompasses lots of multi-ethnic flavors for deep listeners: Afro-Cuban rhythms and African plus Middle Eastern percussion, blues guitar meshed with the very traditional raga. Good for meditation, yoga, and dancing, this album delights the senses and brings us deeper into the realm of worldly song. ”
“Lovers (or even Likers!) of Stevin McNamara's music will not be disappointed by his new album, Shanti Guitar. I enjoy how his music can alternate seamlessly between laid-back plucking and melodic journeys of sound. Here a hint of flamenco, there a taste more Arabic, and other tastes scattered throughout but always part of a peaceful, gentle whole. I listen regularly to the only other album I have of his, Prana Groove, and I will certainly do the same with Shanti Guitar. Want a little preview? Click here! Reviewed by, Parzival Sattva”
Parzival Sattva - Timeless Spirit Magazine
“Stevin McNamara presents a soulful album that combines the earthy beauty of the acoustic guitar with elements of Indian music to provide a stirring, cross-cultural hybrid. To create SHANTI GUITAR, McNamara started with the basic essence of the raga. Upon that he delved into his own history growing up in South Africa and paired these influences with blues and fingerstyle guitar playing. The resulting album offers up rockin' ragas that contain the essence of East and West. The music flows forth at a smooth, relaxed pace, offering an ideal atmosphere whether chilling out on the couch or performing a session of yoga. Several of the songs were originally released on the album YOGITAR.”