Debashish Bhattacharya/The Biscuit Burners
It might be pushing it to call Debashish Bhattacharya the Indian Elmore James, but both are masters of the slide guitar, slithering along the strings with exquisite touches, and their respective versions of soul. James may have never heard an Indian raga, but Bhattacharya, who designs his own instruments, has heard the blues, which he subtly mixes into his ragas, along with stray bits of Hawaiian steel guitar, flamenco, and jazz. The blues certainly seem present in the frenetic melody line of "Aviskaar," from Bhattacharya's new Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide-Guitar Odyssey (Riverboat), which ranges from trance-like meditations to playful fusions of world rhythms and classical raga. A North Carolina quartet, the Biscuit Burners play an innovative brand of Appalachian acoustic stuff they call fiery mountain music. Grounded in old-time country and bluegrass, the band stirs in jazz, reggae, and Indian ragas. Two members of the group reportedly studied with Bhattacharya.
Fri., April 11, 8 p.m., 2008
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