Somewhere between a road trip to SUNY Stonybrook to see Jimi Hendrix in concert, reconnecting with his former bandmates from his freshman-year college band Soft White Underbelly (the members of whom would later move on to form Blue Öyster Cult), and a soul-searching journey to India, self-proclaimed “white Jewish kid from Long Island” Jeffrey Kagel manifested into Krishna Das, a spiritual advisor many hail as “Yoga’s rock star”. After a trio of albums firmly planted in the transcendental mysticism of Hindi instrumentation, the guru of such music greats as Sting, Madonna, Mike D of the Beastie Boys, and Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen makes an unconventional return to the rock format with Heart as Wide as the World. Backed by an ad-hoc group consisting of former Pat Metheny Group bassist Mark Egan, drummer Jerry Marrota (who has worked with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, and Elvis Costello), and onetime Donald Fagen Band keyboardist Kevin Bents, this seven-track set of chants is just as inspired by Das’s days listening to blues giants Bukka White and Skip James as it is from the spiritual guidance of his own guru, the Maharaji Neem Karoli Baba.
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