Vermont based mandolinist 'Mark Trichka's new CD for the Meher Baba community, 'Mandolin Walla,' is sophisticated acoustic vocal and instrumental folk music. The album begins with a leisurely and nostagic Italian-flavored instrumental, 'Mandofino'. It's clear we're in the hands of a relaxed and confident pro and his musician friends in this clean and intimate recording. To my ear, there are two standouts on this CD. Meher Baba composed a sinuous and infinitely-adaptable melody for the 'Gujerati Arti', and Mark gives us a uniquely focused instrumental adaptation featuring mandolin and tabla. 'Everywhere Everything' has a near-rock mood, with tabla standing in for a rock drum kit. Jamie Newell joins Mark singing this instant classic. While the instrumentals on this CD are all excellent, the vocal tracks are instantly memorable. I found myself walking around humming 'Let Love Start' and 'Beloved God' recently, which is the real test of music's quality and accessibility. The lyrics to 'Beloved God' are Baba's own prayer. 'Help Us To Find You' lyrics were from a 1953 message by Baba and rearranged into a prayer by Christi Pearson and Mark. While Mark's mandolin playing is prominent throughout, the instrumentation includes bass, tabla, drums, guitars, backwoods fiddle, and the occasional harmonica and accordion. At times there are echoes of Django Reinhardt at Le Hot Club; 'Hold On' uses Forties-style close harmonies and jazz chordings. 'One Step Closer' is a relaxed Cajun-flavored Baba song, complete with a few bars of rock'n'roll mandolin, followed by fiddle and accordion instrumental sections. Lisa Brande and others contribute fine vocal harmonies to all vocal tracks. Mixed and mastered deep in Louisiana, 'Mandolin Walla' features wonderful mando-folk songwriting and expert performances. Memorable music from a master mandolinist. A great time and highly recommended.' Karl Moeller Tucson AZ While listening, you may find yourself reminded of Pete Townshend's excellent Meher Baba albums, 'Who Came First,' 'Happy Birthday' and 'With Love' which were definitely big influences. Thank you Pete! This just in from Jamie Newell: My dearest MandoMarkie, WOW! Wowie Zowie W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-W-OW!!!! Or, and to express it more succinctly, lest my meaning not be perfectly clear: wow. What a great CD! When you told me you had an epic announcement, I, of course, expected a great CD, but this truly beyond the beyond. First: Fabulous packaging, photos, art, etc. Second: Right off the bat, first cut....W-w-w-w-wow! The Mark Trichka Mandolin Orchestra! I want to see you guys live! I don't have time at the moment to rave about each and every cut, but they are all gems. Great songs, performances, and great production. I am particularly impressed with the sound and intricate arrangements, having watched you struggling along on the road with your little Fostex D-80. Amazing results. Your 2 years + of hard work and effort have paid off magnificently. It was particularly fun to listen back on my good speakers in the same room where we recorded 'Everywhere Everything'. Super, super great job. Thanks for the extra copies. I want to send one to Rustom and Sorab. They will love it. Many thanks, and Jai Baba, Jamie From Zo Newell: 'Just like Lisa's CD Rendezvous, with each successive cut I thought 'This one's my favorite! No, this one's my favorite!' It goes from wonderful to Italianate wonderful, Gujerati wonderful, Appalachian wonderful, each one a real gem in it's own right. One of my favorite moments (at the moment) is the harmonies on the 'Beloved God' prayer - when they come in on 'union,' it is so beautiful and so - unified. I'm also very taken with 'Let Love Start,' which I haven't heard before - what a fabulous anthem for us beset modern loonies. One of the best things I can ever say about anything is that I think Jeanne Shaw would have liked it, and I know she would have loved this. She said one time that Jeanne Foster's poetry was important because it was 'how' poetry, that didn't just talk about loving God but showed you how, and I feel that your CD is a 'how' CD. It's not just about loving Baba, it's showing it - dare I say it? - in the most practical way. It sounds great, it looks great, and you can dance to it. Great job from all involved!' Zo Newell.
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