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Lovely review of “Ameya” in April’s LA YOGA Magazine

From April, ’09 LA YOGA CD reveiw of “Ameya”:

“With Ameya, McMorrow delivers a vibrant folky approach to kirtan (devotional chanting). I really respect and enjoyed her authentic inflections and her graceful song-writing skills. Her beautiful voice is accompanied with rhythmic strokes from a guitar and assisted by highly skilled harmonies that would be really interesting to hear live. I really have to emphasize this aspect of McMorrow’s performance on this album. The harmonies are excellent. McMorrow has a Natalie Merchant type of singing style, and the music is roots oriented. In this regard, the tunes are not fronted with the classic harmonium, but with an acoustic guitar, which works well within the constructs of her work.

The album is very consistent and does not throw any odd surprises into the continuum of songs, which is good. Ameya has a heterogeneous flow to it, and it works well for what McMorrow is putting out there. The record does work and the energy is sweet, which is most likely the result of working with Ben Leinbach, who is one of the finest spiritual music producers in the business. I recommend this album for chanting enthusiasts. This album will work really well for Yoga classes too. Though it isn’t necessarily kundalini-based, the songs here certainly feel influenced by that pull.” brendamcmorrow.com

MRM

LAYOGA

– Michael R. Mollura is a writer, music composer, and event promoter who is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

michaelmollura.com

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Thank you Studio Angels D.I. and A.I.!

I have much heartfelt gratitude to my two Studio Angels D.I. and A.I. whose contribution toward my new record went towards some time on our funky, groovy remix version of Narayana! Your multidimensional support in bringing this music out into the world is invaluable! Can’t wait to share this with you!!

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In the Studio

Brenda and Ben in the studio    

Brenda and Ben in the studio, San Anselmo, CA

Ben and Brenda writing in the studio

Ben and Brenda writing in the studio, Jan, '08

In the Studio – March 9 (today’s Studio Angel L.S.)

Today’s cherished Studio Angel is L.S. Thank you from the expanses of my heart for your help in making this overflowingly creative day possible!

Being in Marin County to create is such a rich blessing! The weather is beautiful, the vibe is clear and bright and  inspiration abounds.  Today’s day in the studio started at around 10:30 after a lovely  5 minute walk from my March digs to Ben’s studio. Ben and I wrote a sweet intro to “Nataraja”. We arranged that tune and then arranged Cartwheel Galaxy” (wow, wait til you hear the super new ending on this one!) We then moved on to “Sita Ram” and I did my acoustic guitar part to Ben’s absolutely kickin’ beats, bass and keys which he laid down last evening (thanks again to you L.S!). Can’t wait to start the vocals tomorrow.

A few other wonderful things that happened today:

– I had the pleasure of having brief but beautifully resonant interactions with some magical people, namely Teresa, Kenny and Axel (Axel is two years old and while wearing a viking hat sang “Make ’em Laugh” to me with great gusto!)

– I was also serenaded by many joyful birds

– I’ve rediscovered the great benefit of a shot of wheatgrass juice!

– My Mom turned 65!!!

More soon….

Love, B

I thought I’d include a photo that shows a snippet of why being here in California is SO inspiring! This is Ben Leinbach, Radanath, Jai Uttal and Manose sound checking before a beautiful kirtan on Saturday nightSoundcheck for Jai Uttal's kirtan

 

 

Kirtans in California!

Please go to www.brendamcmorrow.com for a list of my upcoming Kirtans in California!

Guest Blog Entry by Jim Wywrot

I asked Brenda if I can guest write on her blog. If you are reading this I guess she said okay 😉 I myself have been guilty of stretching the next entry on our own blog — (IndustrialStrengthb2b.com) Okay, shameless self promotion. Right now I am listening to Brenda and Allison and Rob, reading her blog and just wanted to add my appreciation.

What a freakin’ awesome treat to listen to Brenda on MySpace. Really, you have no idea. I was living outside of London and couldn’t get cable and had to rely on a mobile connection card. This meant I couldn’t go to Myspace and just listen to Brenda. And her latest album wasnt out yet. Well I could listen, but I was like Woody Allen in Annie Hall. You know the scene. He is riding in a cab with Dianne Keaton and he says “You’re so beautiful I can barely keep my eyes on the meter”. That was me. Watching the megabyte counter clicking along as I listened to Shante Prashante.

Anyways to make a long story marginally shorter I just moved to Port Stanley and … wait for it …. I got broadband cable! Yeah. I know. Ya. It’s a real small cottage. But I look over Lake Erie and can listen to Shante Prashante or Govinda Gopala on her MySpace page. Have I died and gone to heaven or is it just a dream? I don’t know but don’t pinch me,… just in case.

Okay what else? Oh yeah the only thing that comes close is Kirtan at the Lotus Centre. Okay another shameless self promotion. But really. What can be more fun than Kirtan, especially there? Warm inviting space. Brenda taking us all on a musical roller coaster ride. Maddie dancing. Alisons rocking the harmonium — and her crazy quick wit between songs. Rob driving the beat. Body surfing in the mosh pit. Okay I made that last part up.

So Brenda how about a few more Youtubes of Kirtan? Us kirtan junkies have to have to something between your gigs. At least until they come out with a 12 steps program. Or maybe some kind of “Kirtan patch”. And for anyone who hasnt done so listen to her stuff on her MySpace – or better yet get her albums on iTunes. As for me I am totally waiting for the next album. How about one recorded live? Call it Live at The Lotus Centre. It’s a got the makings of a good album name.

Totally Namaste,

Jim

Living Yoga Kirtan Jan. 31 ’09

Next February’s release with Sounds True

Sounds True Releasing “Love Abounds” in  Feburary 2010!

Sounds True (which publishes audio works by musicians such as Krishna Das, Jai Uttal and Deva Premal and teachers such as Ekhart Tolle, Ram Das, Carolyn Myss, Greg Braden, Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hanh) has been a very inspiring part of my spiritual journey for many years now. I am thrilled to share with you that Sounds True and I are now officially signed on to present an album of original Devotional songs “for opening the heart” in Feb. 2010! I have much gratitude to producer Ben Leinbach for making the introductions and to Nancy Smith and all the folks at Sounds True for feeling the LOVE! More details to come as this exciting project evolves!

Being Human is a Guest House by Rumi

Kirtan Flowers and Neem Karoli Baba

Being Human is a Guest House (Rumi)

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of it’s furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”  

-Rumi

My sweet friend Annabelle posted this poem on her blog and I wanted to share it with you here too!

http://yoga-off-the-mat.blogspot.com/2008/07/my-inner-teacher.html

Nourishing our Spirits through Kirtan

Right after writing my last post I began musing on how important it is to have things that bring us joy and inspiration in order to nourish our spirits during challenging times: things like friendship, art, movement, music – these all encourage us to open our hearts and allow us to face challenges with more ease.  

I am absolutely filled with gratitude for this practice of Kirtan Chant that I have so joyfully invited into my life.  We are all part of something greater and the singing of Divine names together with others is a beautiful way to tap into this; to allow our true selves to shine through and to truly know the connection that we have with all that is. And this knowing is what will see us through even the most challenging of times.

Jai!! May we all play!!Kirtan at Lotus Centre, London, ON with Allison Menegoni and Rob Menegoni

Lotus Centre Kirtan, London, ON – photo by Richard Gilmore