"Another topnotch release from America's best Kirtan wallah."
--- Yoga Chicago
“Enticing, captivating, soulful. The beauty which I’ve experienced at Stringer’s concerts is that the music has the capacity to take me outside of myself into a transcendental state. You get a glimpse into this state with Joyride.”
--- LA Yoga
Joyride is a double-CD album of six full-length live call-and-response kirtans, recorded live in Santa Monica, CA with a large crowd. Four of the pieces are new compositions, two are traditional, and none have been previously recorded. The tracks average 17 minutes long, and feature a full band that traverses incredible dynamic and sonic territory, from the intimacy of Indian classical music through jazz, gospel and stadium rock. It features some of the best live kirtan sound ever captured.
"From the perspective of Eastern philosophy, the bliss we are seeking is already inside of us. So it interests me that from a scientific
perspective this is also a true statement. Bliss is a chemical state
that the body itself creates and maintains, and it is a state that we are
apparently hard-wired to seek. Chanting is one of the world’s oldest
means of finding it.
Chanting affects the areas of the brain that produce our sense of
where our body ends and the world begins. It also slows and steadies
breathing, producing hormone and neurological changes in the body
that feel simultaneously calming and thrilling. One’s sense of
separation diminishes, and one’s feeling of connection increases.
Moving from the individual level to the collective level, the effect is
magnified. A group of people singing together, breathing together, is a cloud of intelligence, turning like a flock of birds. As the song itself
vanishes into the skies of silence, it’s a mighty thing to be a part of.
You feel intimate with all the strangers surrounding you, concurrently
expansive and still. Intensely, vividly, alive.
Even though I’m singing the names of Hindu gods and goddesses, I’m not really chanting to anything or anyone in an objective sense. I’m motivated by my interest in getting to a place of pure, loving,
awareness: beyond images and concepts, subjects and objects. That’s what God is for me. It’s an awareness I can only really touch in
moments of profound inner silence, and chanting is what gets
About this recording:
To understand Kirtan, you have to immerse yourself in it. Listening to
the music can be enjoyable, but if you don’t directly participate in it,
it’s like going to a carnival and watching other people ride the
rollercoaster. It’s much more rewarding when you jump on the train
and throw your hands in the air. This recording was made for singing
along. So take a drive, or take a shower, and just let yourself go.
I know from experience that singing always makes me feel better. I hope this recording makes you feel better too.
Recorded Live April 4 & 5, 2009 at Kula, Santa Monica, CA by Jeff
Grammy-nominated producer, singer, composer and innovative international Kirtan artist. Stringer’s sound connects the transcendent mysticism of East Indian ragas to the exuberant grooves of Gospel and the ringing harmonies of Appalachia.
Ram, Krishna and Hari are all names of Vishnu, the sustaining and preserving aspect of the universe. The mantra refers to the divine as it is expressed in human form, and the ability of humans, through the self-inquiry of philosophy and spiritual practices, to experience the divine in themselves and in all beings.
Track Name: Bolo Bolo Submila Bolo
Bolo Bolo Submila Bolo
Om Namah Shivaya
Hara Shambho Hara Shambho
Om Namah Shivaya
Om Namah Shivaya is a mantra of relinquishment, a meditation on the transience of all attachments and identifications. The message is simple: Let go. The open hand is a symbol of grace, simultaneously releasing and receiving.
The directive of Bolo Bolo Submila Bolo is straightforward: Sing, sing, everybody sing. Hara is the remover, and Shambho means benificent. Coming together in song and movement cleanses the mind and the heart in joyful catharsis.
Track Name: Om Namo Bhagavate
Om Namo Bhagavate Nityanandaya
Bhagavan Bhagavan Bhagavan Bhagavan
Nityananda is a name that means eternal bliss. Referring to neither pleasure or pain, thought or physical manifestation, bliss is a state beyond measure and all finite qualities.
In the Upanishads, it is said that “The one inner Self of all beings assumes the forms of whatever it enters, while continuing to exist outside all forms.”
Om represents the whole of creation, Namo means name. Bhagavate is an honorific that translates as blessed, illustrious, holy. Bhagavan connotes unbounded, absolute Truth, the Truth of Space and Silence.
Track Name: Kali Durge
Kali Durge Namo Namah Kali Durge Namo Namah
Kali Durge Kali Durge Namo Namah Namo Namah
When I was a little boy, monsters lived under my bed. I was sure that if I touched the floor at night, they would eat me. So I devised an elaborate means by which to escape them, jumping from chair to desk to chest of drawers and finally onto my bed.
My mother noticed one evening, and inquired about why I was doing this. When I told her about the monsters, she agreed it was a terrible problem, but suggested another strategy: If I would sing a sweet song to them, then maybe it would soothe them to sleep and they wouldn’t hurt me.
I sang, and I felt better. As she watched over me, I cautiously made my way safely to bed. I have been singing to my monsters ever since.
Kali is an image of the demons that live in all of us, which must be faced. Terrified, we build walls to protect us, or we reach for weapons, only to compound our problems. But in the end, so often it is really sweetness that conquers the lions. Strength looking in, Compassion looking out: these are the qualities of Durga.
Track Name: Jay Hanuman
Jay Jay Jay Jay Hanuman Jay Jay Jay Mahavira
Sita Ram Bolo Jay Sita Ram Bolo
Ram is a king who loses his kingdom to treachery, and his love, Sita, is kidnapped by demons. In the Ramayana, his epic journey to recover what he has lost, Ram encounters the monkey god Hanuman. And it is through the service and devotion of Hanuman that his love and the kingdom are restored.
The Ramayana is a great parable of the human condition. Springing forth from the divine, we are born as kings and queens in this world. But we lose our kingdom and our love to the demons of desire, attachment and anger, and wander in the wilderness trying to find our way home.
The way to return is found in service. In giving, we access our better nature, opening our eyes to see that what were searching for was inside us all along.
Govinda and Gopala are names of Krishna that mean the knower of the senses and the mind. Murali is the flute player, and the mantra refers to the capacity of music to overcome the restrictions and limitations of the mind. Following the flute to the source of sound, one also arrives at the origin of one of the great mysteries: How does mind arise from nothingness?