Available this week, a three song EP titled Prayers, featuring a collaboration of multi-GRAMMY award winning singer, songwriter and producer Joe Walsh and preeminent classical Sarod virtuoso and composer Amjad Ali Khan.
Sonically the difference between rock and roll and classic Indian music could not be bigger – and it was exactly that which compelled them: what would happen if they came together and let their instruments do the talking? The result is music that is truly collaborative, and unlike any Joe has ever created, infused with a spiritual feel, fittingly titled Prayers.
Net Proceeds will go to Intrahealth International.
The two first met while Joe was visiting India. After playing together at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai (at the suggestion of Amjad’s son) Joe invited them all, Amjad and his two sons, to come to Los Angeles and record with him to see what they could create together. This EP is the result of the second of those sessions, which took place in Joe’s home studio in Los Angeles during 2020. In addition to The Khans, Amjad and his incredibly talented sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, Joe asked some of his friends and members of the Los Angeles music community to participate including: Jim Keltner, Davey Johnstone, Michael Thompson, Nathan East, Stewart Copeland, Joe Vitale and Lee Sklar.
“The time I spend in India is always transformative,” Joe explained. "My first visit delivered “India” which was on Analog Man. Subsequent visits stirred within me a deeper curiosity for Indian instruments and their music. In spending time with the maestro, himself, Amjad, I was excited to see how my instrument and his could work together. We were both blown away. It was one of my life’s most treasured experiences. It was as if our souls united in a symphony of shared love for music in its purest form. The music we created was stronger than our individual abilities. It was a spiritual experience to play with the Khans. Everyone there in those sessions was elevated as a result of this collaboration and that’s why we play music. It’s those moments we chase as musicians."
These three songs, “Healing Love”, “Goddess” and “Hope (We Shall Overcome)” are the discourse between their instruments, a kind of meditative exploration on the nature of sonoral divinity, drawing from the great unique treasures of their own artistic traditions, as well as finding common ground at both the cellular and cosmic levels of two musical traditions, which are often held to be radically different. Through this process of creating and recording, their aim was to preserve the essence of musical traditions that flow into each other without artistic compromise.
“By the time I got to work on these tracks in the studio we were in complete lockdown pandemic mode,” continued Joe. “The more time I spent with this music the clearer it became that these tracks had healing properties and needed to be shared as a gift. So, in honor of all the frontline workers who continue to be of such incredible service and courage to us all during these horribly challenging times I’m donating my proceeds to IntraHealth International, whose vital work for healthcare workers around the world aligned perfectly. With our gratitude and with love to them all please enjoy Prayers.”
“It has been such a pleasure and an honor to work on this album with my dear friend, the legendary Joe Walsh,” remarked Amjad Ali Khan. “Across cultures, as artists we can understand and appreciate each other and thereby trying to heal this divided world, and what better way is there to achieve this ideal than through the joy and spiritual nourishment that music brings.”
“We are so thrilled and grateful to Joe and Amjad for their generosity,” says Polly Dunford, president and CEO of IntraHealth International. “Their gift is going to make health workers around the world safer as we battle this pandemic today and build a healthier future for tomorrow.”
About IntraHealth International: They are a global health nonprofit that has worked in over 100 countries since 1979. Their mission is to improve the performance of health workers and strengthen the systems in which they work, and their vision is that everyone everywhere has the health care they need to thrive. Because next-generation challenges in global health call for new and extraordinary partnerships, IntraHealth joins forces with governments, businesses, technologists, artists, activists, and more to cultivate local solutions with lasting results. IntraHealth’s programs generate long-term social and economic impact to keep communities around the world healthy, strong, and prosperous. They focus on health workers. Without them, health care doesn’t happen.