Bhakti Shakti

Bhakti Shakti

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Bhakti Shakti is a spiritual folk fusion ensemble offering translations of Rumi, Hafiz, Mirabai and Lalla, combined in song with Sanskrit chanting. Our mission is to raise the planetary vibration to God consciousness, beyond bliss, beyond love to Union with the Source.

Biography

Our original music is a blending of folk-type songs with sacred poetry and Sanskrit chanting in the kirtan style which is becoming increasingly popular across the country. All songs are written by Lalita Karoli or Tracey Forest. Some of the songs on the CD are adaptations sacred poetry from inspirational and beloved poets Jedulladin Rumi, Hafiz, Lalla, and Mirabai intermingled with Sanskrit chanting recorded with permission from Daniel Ladinsky (translator of Hafiz), Coleman Barks (translator of Rumi and Lalla), Eknath Easwaran (translator of Mirabai); other songs are classic-sounding folk songs of longing, passion, love and connection to the universality of which we are all part.

Instrumentation on the CD combines guitar with viola, cello, flute, harmonium, piano, bass guitar, and djembe, and most of the songs are resplendent with layered vocal harmonies.

We blend these different styles of music to create recordings and performances that inspire, uplift, deeply move, and open the hearts of listeners. In a world where people are increasingly disconnected from one another and themselves, fragmented and lacking community, music such as ours is needed; indeed, it is water to the parched landscapes of our souls. We think it is extremely indicative of a deep longing in Americans that Rumi is the #1 best-selling poet in this country; our music reflects that need and attempts to fulfill it. Our performances are all-inclusive in that we invite audience members to sing along with us, sometimes in call-and-response style or in chanting along with us simultaneously. The effect of such inclusion is that people feel connected to one another, and most importantly, to their own hearts.

Lalita Karoli is a cowgirl for God. In this playful Universe, she sings to God as the friend, the lover, sister, brother & self. She is a shamanic practitioner, soul therapist, bodyworker, astrologer, minister & yoga teacher. Her home, an intergalactic ashram, radiates her reverence for life. www.wildernessoftheheart.com

Claude Richter is a Divine Celestial Musician. He plays the viola with the fullness of his soul. Trained as a classical musician, he performs in chamber, symphony, & solo performances across New England. He is a gifted teacher & organizer of the Upper Valley Mozart Project. www.uvmozartproject.org

Tracey Forest strives to surrender her life to the Divine Mother, in all her forms. Her dharma is to be an instrument through which songs of devotion, inspiration, passion and bliss can flow through and out into the hearts of all those whose ears they reach. A long-time shamanic healer and teacher, she is the founding co-director of Spirit Hollow, a nature-based spiritual center in SW Vermont, whose mission is to transform consciousness. www.spirithollow.org

Nicole Stetson has been a social activist and teacher in higher education & international nonprofit organizations for over 14 years. She has been singing her entire life in church choirs & with friends. She offers her voice with humility, great joy & in recognition of the healing power of sound.

Justin Hillman has passionately studied music & songwriting since the age of eleven. Focusing on acoustic guitar & vocal music, as a solo ‘alternative folk artist,’ Justin also apprentices as a recording engineer at Muddy Angel Music & has his own small professional recording studio. The healing power of music flows through his body, mind, and soul & he prays that it may reach all those in need. www.myspace.com/jhillmanmusic

Discography

We JUST RELEASED Bhakti Shakti's first CD: The Most Beautiful Truth!!!! Available at www.wildernessoftheheart.com or by calling Lalita at 802-457-2508

Beauty All Around (2007) not a Bhakti Shakti record, but features many of Tracey Forest's songs as well as her and Nicole Stetson's harmonies.

Set List

We have so many songs that we can go for hours. We also have three amazing songwriters in our group, so we are constantly bringing through new songs to add to our repertoire. We typically do 2 hour shows, with audience participation through chanting along. We can also do just a straight, traditional kirtan (ecstatic chanting) and love to perform at Yoga Studios, cafes, spiritual centers, arts and cultural centers, festivals--heck, anywhere!

Cushion for Your Head
Ballad of St. Joan
Stealing Back the Flute
She's Calling Us Back
Still Kissing Me
You Are the Road
The Path of Love
It's Gonna Be All Right
Radhe Bolo
Heart of My Heart
Tara Mantra for Universal Peace
Satyam Shivayam
Mother (Jai Ma!)
Lay Down Your Worries
Chain you to My Body
Dance, Lalla!
You've Always Been Our Home
Giving in to the Light
Rescuing God
How Can I Keep From Singing
Lakshmi Prayer
Don't Go Back to Sleep