Yatra (Nomadic Souls) - Kailash Kher & Kailasa
So the tale is told, Kailash Kher arrived in Mumbai from rural India by way of New Delhi with only a few rupees in his pocket and a dream of becoming a Bollywood playback singer, despite his father's misgivings. Instead, Kher rocketed to the top of the Indian subcontinent's pantheon of beloved popular singers, garnering comparisons to even the revered, late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It's been called a "ragas to riches story". Or, maybe you prefer a 'Surinderella story'. Puns aside, I'm sure it will become the screen play for another Bollywood movie. But, it takes a man of the people to mine popular acclaim, and that talent is universal. With his band Kailasa, Kailash Kher has launched his first longplay at the North American market and has once again pushed all the right buttons. Crisp production, succinct songwriting, irresistible hooks and masterful technique mark Yatra (Nomadic Souls) from Cumbancha. The album is simply a fresh, euphoric delight destined for many a 'best of' list. Kher's incredible delivery cascades through the Indian scales over slick western pop, funk and reggae backbeats. There are glorious sitar solos, the likes of which we haven't heard in popular music since The Beatles' Revolver. 18 minute classical ragas or jazzed up, meandering fusions aren't the way to sell the wonders of Indian music to North America and Kher knows it. This release has been made to measure by a master craftsman. With fortune and talent on his side, this next chapter in the fairy tale of Kailash Kher is heading for a happy ever after.