Time-Life specializes in oldies compilations from rock and soul to country, so it was a little surprising to discover the multimedia company marketing the new CD "Yoga Revolution."
Along with duets between Sting and Anoushka Shankar, and Seal with Guru Singh, this "meditative" collection includes songs by Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Peter Gabriel, Ziggy Marley and Donna De Lory, who returns to Maui next weekend.
"It's a great idea to present to the public these artists in a more devotional way," enthuses De Lory. "It helps draw more people to this kind of music."
Donna De Lory
For a number of years, De Lory balanced a creative life between performing as a backing singer with Madonna and focusing on devotional and ethereal pop music as a solo artist.
She recently played two dates on the 2010 Lilith Fair tour.
"It was really amazing," she reports. "Most of the artists were pop-rock on the bill, so it was interesting for me, being the world music, devotional person. I did songs in English and Sanskrit and it came off great. People are so open to diversity at these festivals. Mary J Blige was a huge highlight for me to watch. And Sarah McLachlan is such an angel. We both have two girls around the same ages and were comparing notes."
Donna De Lory performs in the McCoy Studio Theater at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30. She will be joined by longtime collaborators Cameron Stone on cello and Quinn on drums. Tickets are $22 plus applicable fees, available from the MACC box office, 242-7469 or www.mauiarts.org.
She will also present a live trance dance at The Studio Maui at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Call 575-9390.
Now completely focused on her own career, De Lory previously devoted 20 years to recording and touring with Madonna. She sang on hit albums like "Ray of Light" and "Like a Prayer," and Madonna even sang backing vocals on her debut album. At her last show with the superstar in 2007, De Lory sang before 70,000 fans at the London Live Earth concert.
Transitioning from such a high-profile world to typically performing in the tranquil setting of yoga centers has worked well.
"Even the second tour I did with her, I thought it was my last," De Lory recalls. "She changes people a lot, and I never thought I would do six world tours and all those records. I found out I was pregnant before the last tour, and it was just nature taking its course. It was time to move on. I remember thinking I'm not going to be doing it again, what's it going to feel like? I just felt I'd been in Madonna's world so long. Tours take up months of your life. It's very hard to fit in your own gigs and have the energy to go forward with what you're doing. It all worked out beautifully."
So how did life in Madonna's world impact her performance today?
"As a woman I learned so much about taking control, and being clear with your vision and finding your own truth," she explains. "I had to find my own path and way. I was brought up in a musical family and started singing professionally when I was 8. Madonna would always write to me cards, 'Thank you for your professionalism.' She said that every year on every card. It was heightened more working with her."
Attracted by the innovative music of Anglo-Indian singer Sheila Chandra and the mystical quaali music of Pakistan's Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, De Lory became interested in performing devotional music with Sanskrit mantras.
Her recordings include "Bliss," "The Lover and The Beloved," and most recently "Sanctuary," her most realized work to date.
In the rarified realm of devotional music artists, De Lory is unique. Blending Eastern and Western influences rather than purely exploring ancient mantras like other musicians, she creates beguiling original compositions that weave English lyrics with familiar mantras, while often infusing chill beats and subtle electronica textures.
"I'm getting more rhythmic now," she says. "People want to dance and have movement. I've been working on some remixes (of "Sanctuary") and have a whole new CD. I'm getting back into dance and hypnotic beats. I'll have a promo of it in Hawaii."
If there was a crown bestowed for the king of session guitarists, Larry Carlton would win, hands down. This amazing guitarist was once asked to calculate the number of recording sessions he had played on just in the 1970s.
"I averaged sometimes more than, 500 sessions a year," Carlton reported in a Musician's Friend interview.
Carlton's studio credits during the 1970s and early '80s included Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Garcia, Bill Joel, Quincy Jones, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, playing on more than 100 gold-selling albums.
Probably best known for his work with Steely Dan, playing with the legendary group from the "Royal Scam" through "Gaucho," his distinctive style became almost synonymous with their sound.
A Variety review of a Steely Dan show last year praised: "Friday's performance was particularly eventful, thanks to the presence of guitarist Larry Carlton, who offered interjections - particularly the stinging solos in 'Kid Charlemagne' - that added palpable tension to the Dan's customarily cool and calm mood."
Carlton has been acclaimed as "perhaps the finest American guitarist alive today." Rolling Stone magazine hailed his solo on Dan's "Kid Charlemagne," featuring it in their issue on the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, noting his, "multisectioned, cosmic-jazz lead in is so complex it's almost a song in its own right."
Interviewed in the book "Reelin' In The Years," Dan's Walter Becker pronounced, "If 'Royal Scam' is the definitive Steely Dan guitar album, then Larry Carlton is the reason why."
Beginning guitar lessons at age 6, Carlton played his first professional gig in 1962. Inspired to play jazz and blues after hearing Joe Pass on the radio, other important influences included Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, along with B.B. King and other blues greats.
Joining the Fifth Dimension in 1968, he began playing studio sessions a couple of years later. In 1971, he was asked to join the popular jazz funk group the Crusaders. Touring with the Crusaders, Carlton developed his signature highly rhythmic, often bluesy style. During this period his theme music credits for TV and movies include "Against All Odds," "Who's the Boss" and the theme for the cop show "Hill Street Blues," which earned a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Out on his own, his next Grammy Award was earned in 1987 for an instrumental remake of Michael McDonald's hit "Minute by Minute," on the all-acoustic album "Discovery."
A decade later, Carlton replaced guitarist Lee Ritenour in the popular contemporary jazz outfit Fourplay, first appearing on the group's "4" album.
In the last few years, he's released a series of acclaimed recordings including the superb blues album "Live in Tokyo" with Robben Ford, and most recently the "Take Your Pick" collaboration with Japanese guitarist Tak Matsumoto, praised by SmoothJazz as "an absolutely breath-taking journey into contemporary jazz fusion."
The Larry Carlton Trio performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Castle Theater at the MACC. Tickets are $12, $28 and $38 plus applicable fees, available as above.
Maui's Hard Rock Caf celebrates its 20th anniversary on Saturday with a special party featuring The Ataris. The indie rock band, best known for hit singles "In This Diary" and the cover of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer," close out a 65-date U.S. tour on Maui. The group is currently recording a new album, "The Graveyard of the Atlantic."
Tickets are $23 in advance available at www.groovetickets. com or at the Hard Rock, and $28 at the door. Partial proceeds will benefit The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.
KAOI-FM's "Zeptember" celebration culminates with "An Epic Tribute to Rock and Roll's Greatest Band" night at Mulligan's on the Blue beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday. A host of Maui musicians will perform Led Zep favorites from "Ramble On" and "Dazed and Confused" to "Going to California" and "Dyer Maker."
Among the musicians contributing are Vince Esquire, Tom Conway, Nils Rosenblad, Erin Smith, Shawn Michael, Josh Greenbaum and Kaulana Kanekoa.
Part of the proceeds from the evening will help Maui Time writer Anu Yagi with medical expenses. An auction will include guitars signed by Iron Maiden's Dave Murray and Willie K.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Presale tickets are available from Requests Music, Wow Wee Maui's Kava Bar & Grill, Westside Vibes, 808 Deli and Wings Hawaii in Paia. For more information, call 874-1131.