Sunday, October 21, 2012

The MJ Show #151 - Songs from 21st Oct HT Cafe write up of my current favourite 5 songs

This was a write up by Soumya Vajpayee in today's HT Cafe (21st Oct) in their Picking Order column about my current 5 favourite songs.

Top 5 Songs on my playlist
Picking 5 favourite songs of all time is virtually impossible because there’s always something new or old that keeps popping up on my playlist that blows my mind, so I’ll just pick 5 songs that I’m currently loving a lot.

1)“This Life" by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers: A TV show I’m really enjoying these days is Sons Of Anarchy. I love everything about it and the first thing that really caught my attention right up in Season 1 was the fantastic opening track for the show. Check out both the song and the show if you’re not already hooked on to it.

2)“Something” by The Beatles: Irrespective of what new songs and artists I’m listening to, songs of The Beatles are something that I can go back to anytime. Of all the incredible songs they’ve made, my number one song is “Something”. It was written by George Harrison and has been covered officially by over 150 artists worldwide. I would love to someday record it my way too.
Here's the original:
And here's a version with just George Harrison playing it.

3)“Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967” by John Mayer: I truly believe that John Mayer is the greatest artist of this generation. His songwriting and musicality is beyond belief…but more than that he’s a fantastic story teller. This song, more than any other is a testament to that fact. From his latest album “Born And Raised”, this is my favourite song.

4)“I Can’t Tell You Why” by Vince Gill: One of my top bands of all time is The Eagles. Now, a whole bunch of country artists got together and released a compilation tribute album to The Eagles called “Common Threads: The Songs Of The Eagles” and Vince Gill’s version of “I Can’t Tell You Why” really blows me away. It’s my one of my go-to late night, endless-loop songs. Originally it was sung by the incredible Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles. In fact, it was the first Eagles song in which he sang lead vocals and I think it’s one of their very best!
And well here's a live version by The Eagles as well:

5)“Nayane Lajavit” by Anand Bhate: Yeah. I know. This is always a surprise to everyone. This song was my callertune for over a year, and I always had people wondering if they’d called the right person. Yes, I’m a rock n roll guy who sings in English, but I’ve always loved Indian classical music. This song is from the soundtrack of the National Award-winning Marathi film, “Balgandharva”. I firmly believe that film has the greatest soundtrack that I have ever heard for an Indian movie. I first heard this song by the great Kumar Gandharva; but probably because I call Anand Bhate a friend, his version is a lot more special to me.

Okay I'm a little blown away. HOW is it that NO one has put up songs of Balgandharva on youtube?!
This is appalling!
All right then. I'm putting it up :)
Here it is, brand new on youtube for specially for this episode of The MJ Show :)

I also want to share another version I love with you guys. Here's a version of the song sung by the great Kumar Gandharva.
(And in fact, even this is one of the songs of an album dedicated to Balgandharva, sung by Kumarji, that I had put up on youtube many months ago.)

That's about it for tonight.
Good to get The MJ Show back on. Got loads of great music to talk about in the days to come.

Let me know what you think about the songs on: or in the comments here :)

It is now time for me to say take care and have a nice day! :)
This is your Musicman...Mihir Joshi...signing off!


Monday, August 13, 2012

The MJ Show #150 - Gul Panag's top 10 songs!

I got to know Gul Panag because of my radio show a few years ago but let me tell you about what I felt about her when we met up for the first time.
I was hosting a tv show for Zee Business many months ago and though Gul and I were acquainted on twitter...the first time I met her in person was at the finale of this show in Shillong. We hung out a bit, talked about music and the bands that were taking part in the show. Gul had come there as the guest host of the finale and what I really liked about her is how simple, cool, intelligent and down to earth she really was and is in real life. :)
Even then I knew from our conversation then that she was really into music. In fact, she was totally rocking out to one of the much heavier acts on the show too. And to be honest, the reason I got to know her in the first place was also music so when I got The MJ Show back on I knew that I had to have her as a guest and today, on the BIG 150th episode of the show, I can't think of anyone better to have as a guest than the lovely, talented, super-strong and beautiful Gul Panag :)

And she's quite an adventurer and a daredevil too. Before we begin the show have a look at this video of her's. Will show you a really different side of her's and you'll get why I think she's pretty cool :)

So...when I got started on this episode I asked Gul to mail me her favourite songs which she did and then we spoke on the phone about the songs. Here's what it sounded like.

Mihir Joshi (MJ): So...Gul...welcome to The MJ Show. Let's get straight into it. Let's talk about some of your all time favourite songs.
Gul Panag (GP): Hey Mihir...all right here we go. My top 10 in no particular order are:

GP: Okay first up is "Ain't Talkin 'Bout Love" by Van Halen!
I love the intro to song. It's a great song...superbly upbeat and powerful. I generally listen to this when I'm getting ready to go out...or to the gym...or I'm getting into the car. It's a total mood fixer for me! :)
MJ: Killer song to kick off this set. I get exactly what you mean. A great song like this can totally pump you up! For me..."Shoot To Thrill" by ACDC always does the trick. Check it out!

GP: Up next is a song by my friends music direcotor duo - Sidharth & Suhas called Nainawali Whiskey.
I love the lyrics of the song. And though the music is totally in the dance space the lyrics are really beautiful. And it's got a awesome Punjabi flavour to it that I really love.
MJ: I love Sidharth-Suhas. I love the stuff they do. Always fun :)
Okay I just heard the song and I don't really get a chance to put up songs like the next two songs I've got here. I LOVED both of them when they came out. I love what comes out when you mix western beats and styles with Punjabi music. Actually I love it when western music fits in with any kind of Indian music. There's always some great stuff that comes out it.
Here are two absolutely KICKASS songs for you! :)
Dr.Zeus - Kangna
Swami - Hey Hey!

GP: Next up for me is Lady Gaga. I mean who doesn't like Lady Gaga! And "Poker Face" by her is one of my favourite songs. I like a lot of her other songs but this one is the one I love most. It's a super-upbeat song and I love the beats and the way it makes me feel.
MJ: Have you seen or heard the "Glee" version of "Poker Face".
GP: No I haven't!
MJ: Okay then that's the song I'm going to play for you right now. I love their take on it. They've changed it from the uptempo Lady Gaga version and slowed it down to a ballad. I love Lady Gaga's version but when you want to chill out a bit and still listen to this song...this version is the way to go. Lea Michelle & Idina Menzel, the two ladies who sang this song in Glee are spectacular. Check it out!

GP: "Mr Saxobeat" by Alexandra Stan is a song that really love. It's a song that just came on the international scene out of nowhere and just took over the world. It was all over the place and I totally loved the sound of it.
MJ: I know exactly what you mean. I remember another song that did a similar thing a while back. "Stereo Love" by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina is the song I'm talking about. I remember when it was out, you couldn't go to a single dance club and not hear it or versions of it. Brilliant song too!

GP: The Wallflowers is a band that I really like. The first thing I like about any artist is the music. It's always the music that hooks me in...but once the music begins to grown on me the lyrics become an important part of the song for me too.  When I first heard The Wallflowers several years ago...I loved the music instantly...great guitar parts...drums...but the more I heard them, I just I loved their lyrics too. And that's the beauty of such music I think. It's something that gets better each time you hear it.
MJ: Here's Gul's favourite song by The Wallflowers. It's called Sleepwalker
MJ: I totally get what you mean by the way. About how great songs grow on you more and more with time. For me, John Mayer is the one artist of our generation who has consistently written incredible songs. Great lyrics...I mean really really great lyrics and some incredible melodies. I love how he can tell stories with his songs. Now his latest album, Born And Raised, is not in my opinion his best work...but there's this one song in it that really showed me what a fantastic storyteller John is. The song has a deeper meaning obviously...which you get when you spend some time with it...but when you hear's a song about a guy and his submarine! Incredible stuff! :)

MJ: Okay the next song on your list was a surprise for me. You've picked "Until It Sleeps" by Metallica!
GP: I'm someone who prefers's most often pretty much mainstream rock...but there are times that I like heavier stuff as well. If you remember when we chatted in Shillong I really liked that band with the growling vocalist. I thought they were pretty badass!
"Until It Sleeps" is a classic. I mean...if someone who likes rock music, hears this song they will like it even if they've not really heard a lot of Metallica. It's got great guitaring...great's just such an awesome rock song!
MJ: I hear you. It's not a surprise that thousands of people all around the world revere Metallica so much. They've had so many such classics that transcend their genre and reach out to music lovers irrespective of whether they are into metal or not. One more such song is "Enter Sandman". Check out this live version of it. The energy of the song is reflected in the crowd. It's pure magic!

GP: "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is such an iconic song by Def Leppard. Lately I've been hearing their original version and the version done by Tom Cruise in "Rock Of Ages"! I must say that he's done a very very interesting cover of it. And I think that it's one of this BIG rock's totally timeless. I doesn't need to be on a chart right now or anything like that. If you're into rock you'll love it no matter when you hear it.
MJ: Totally agree with what you just said. It's one of those all time classic rock songs and I do agree. Tom Cruise has done a fantastic job, not just on "Pour Some Sugar On Me" but as a whole in the movie! You see him and you BELIEVE that he's a rock star!
Here's his version of the song :)

MJ: The next song on your list is another surprise for me. From Def Leppard and Metallica we now head to Ganga by Rabbi! :)
GP: I've known Rabbi for a while now. I love how the song opens and I love how Rabbi always has some really rich strong subjects in his songs. Ganga is a very feminist song. When I first heard his album and called him up I told him I loved the song. He asked me if I'd heard the lyrics and I hadn't. Like I said, the first thing that works for me is always the music...but when he asked me to listen to the words I did and I realized that it's such a lovely song. It's an interesting take on the girl child. The female half of the Indian population has always been at the receiving end of some kind of unfairness and I like how Rabbi has talked about it in his song.
MJ: I think Rabbi is a really interesting artist. I remember I hosting the launch of his new album for Universal a few months ago and the first thing I realized about his music is that he's an out and out rock n roll guy. It's not Sufi or Punjabi music. That's just the framework or language he works in but he's a rocker all the way.
GP: Oh yeah! He rocks! You should hear him do "Desire" or "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2. I remember many years ago in Delhi, when he was still relatively unknown, we were at this thing where there was a live band playing. We knew that he was a rock singer so we asked him to go and jam with the band on stage and he did those two songs and he totally nailed them!
He's a very "thinking" singer. He's very socially aware and I think his music reflects that.
MJ: Well...let's play a song for Rabbi. Let's play Desire by U2. :) I'm sure he'll love it :)

MJ: Next up is "The Anthem" by Good Charlotte!
GP: I love what it says. Today we've become clones of each other...and this is a song that says that "I don't want to be you!".
It's one of the few songs that's talking about being an individual. It's talking about something that is so fundamental. All of us are always trying to do things to fit in. To be somebody's idea of what you should be. People are always telling you to do this and do that, wear this, and be seen here and talk about this and that...and I feel like telling them "Who are you to tell me all this?"
The concept behind the song is pretty much my anthem too. I believe in me and I don't want to be like anyone else. I'm happy being me!
MJ: I love what you said here. I feel the same. I really do. I can't imagine living life by someone else's rules. I'm happy being me and I am happy letting you be you. I think the main problem people have is that they are too bothered with just telling people what to do and what is right rather than seeing the world from someone's else eyes. It's very tough, I think, for people to see each other as "individuals". To see people who are okay with saying that "I'm happy being me."
I've always been a massive Elvis fan and there's this song of his that has these lines:
"Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes "
If people could really get that...and embrace the idea and live by it...we'd have a lot more peace and understanding in this world.
Have a look:

MJ: So you've had everything from dance to pop to rock to metal. :) Almost time for your last couple of songs. So what are we ending the show with? :)
GP: I want to end it with Pink! She's a lady with so much attitude! It comes out through her lyrics. It's almost like she's saying that "Hey I'm a rockstar! I'm not here to be like you. I'm here to be like me so accept that or go deal with it."
MJ: So it's kinda representative again of the kind of person that you are eh?
GP: Very much so! There's a song of her's called "Don't Let Me Get Me" which has these lines:

LA told me, "You'll be a pop star,
All you have to change is everything you are."

It's such a rebellious line! The next lines were:
Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears
She's so pretty, that just ain't me

When she came on the scene she didn't look like Britney or Christina Aguilera. She didn't fit the "good girl pop star" mould but she stayed as she was and totally rocked it! The song was about being the odd one out and sticking your middle finger to the world and doing it your own way! And not following someone else's formula.
GP: And the other song by Pink from the same album that I also loved was "Get The Party Started". Perfect uptempo, fun, free song to end my list with! :)

MJ: Thank you so very much for being on the show with me Gul. As always it's been such a pleasure talking to you. By the way...this is my 150th show. I'm really glad that you agreed to be on it but tell me what did you think about the concept when I asked you if you could be a guest on my show here.
GP: I first heard you, I think it was a couple of years ago on radio...and you were playing a David Guetta song that night. And it's something that got us chatting on twitter and then we met and spoke in person. So I just liked the fact that you're doing something that's unique and not following the herd or trying to just blend in. I thought it was pretty interesting the way you did your show and this blog is a really unique and interesting idea too. I'm happy to have been a guest on the show :)
MJ: Thanks a lot Gul :) I think you're super cool and I love the fact that you're so very comfortable being different and unique and...well being you! :)
Let me end the show with the David Guetta song that started this all off :)
Here it is:
David Guetta - Love Is Gone

MJ: Before I sign off for today, I want to thank all the awesome guests I've had on the shows so far and more importantly I'd like to thank all of YOU! Yeah! I'm talking to you...reading this post here today.
Thank you for coming on the page, reading it, passing it around, RTing in on Twitter or liking it on Facebook. It's because of you that I'm continuing with this online show. I'll figure out ways to make it more interesting in the shows to come but for let me know what you think about the shows, the music, anything at all on: or in the comments here :)

It is now time for me to say take care and have a nice day! :)
This is your Musicman...Mihir Joshi...signing off!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The MJ Show #149 - Guest Series - Ashwin Sanghi's favourites! (Part 2)

Ashwin Sanghi
I had the pleasure of interacting with today's guest on twitter a few months ago...and I then went on and picked up two novels that he'd written. I knew they were best sellers and super popular but I'll admit that I hadn't got down to reading them till after I met him. I gotta say this...I loved his first two books "The Rozabal Line" and "Chanakya's Chant" and I can't wait to check out his new book "The Krishna Key".
Here's a video about his new book. The book releases in August this year! Make sure you go and pick it up...or pre-order it online on flipkart!

Aswhin Sanghi (AS): 12. Queen - A Kind of Magic
I will say this emphatically: the world has never produced any singer like Freddie Mercury or Jim Morrison. I’m not sure whether the fact that Mercury was an Indian Parsi influences my view, but I find that his music stirs my soul whereas Morrison’s music stirs other parts of the anatomy!

MJ: I know exactly what you mean. For me, Freddie Mercury is one of my major influences when it comes to performing on stage. Apart from being a great singer I think he was one of the greatest performers in the world. That's something that Jim Morrison also had. When they were on stage you couldn't look anywhere else! I guess it was "a kind of magic" that they had! :)
Here's a performance of "Somebody To Love". The first 1 minute by itself makes it one of the greatest performances of any song that I've ever seen!
And what the's a song by The Doors that I love too. It was actually written by Van Morrison and originally recorded by his band "Them" in 1964. What Jim Morrison does to the beyond belief! 

AS: 13. Pt Nikhil Banerjee & Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - Raga Manj Khamaaj
It must be the fact that Pt Nikhil Banerjee trained under Ustad Allaudin Khan that influenced his jugalbandhis with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (Ustad Allaudin Khan’s son). The two maestros produce the softest and sweetest notes and at times one feels like they are having an intimate conversation. A priceless gem of track!
MJ: I'm not really well educated about Indian ragas/classical music but I've always loved the sounds of our music. Be it Pandit. Bhimsen Joshi or Kumar Gandharva...I've grown up listening to some great music. I don't really have a response song to this because with my limited vocabulary of Indian ragas, I can't really think of anything to say here. So, I'll just listen and admire the beauty of what you've picked for us here. :)
(I've said this before a long time ago on some's so awesome when I get to hear things that I've not heard before. Recommendations from other music lovers, aficionados and musicians...make music loving and learning such a fantastic experience.)  

AS: 14. Fateh Ali Khan & Talvin Singh - Colour of Love
One of the sweetest sitar tracks that I have ever heard. Partly I loved the track because I had heard Shobha Gurtuji singing “Mein to Kheloongi…” and this particular melody is almost identical to that but with a contemporary twist. Awesome.
MJ: When I heard this song....for some reason I was taken back to a song that I've not thought of in ages. In fact, I couldn't even remember who had done it but then after a bit of searching I found that it was Jeff Beck.
It was on an album of his called "You Had It Coming". 
On his site here's what he had to say about the song and it's original composer.

Jeff Beck considers YOU HAD IT COMING’s standout track to be "Nadia," written by Indian musician Nitin Sawhney, whom Beck describes as "a genius -- like an Asian Stevie Wonder." Beck remembers first shuffling through Sawhney's CD while driving home. "I couldn't believe the diversity of the tracks. I stopped on 'Nadia' and I almost crashed the car, because it was such a refreshing, almost commercial, Indian song. I started whistling bits of it, then I thought, 'What am I waiting for? This is custom made for me.' "

Here it is...Nadia by Jeff Beck. Prepare to have your mind blown :)
MJ: By the way, I think the reason I thought of this song is because of the kind of vivid images both these songs can bring up in your mind's eye. 

AS: 15. Anoushka Shankar w/ Midival Punditz - Rebirth
I had never appreciated the skill and softness in Anoushka’s Shankar’s sitar-playing until I heard this fusion track in which the music had been arranged by the Midival Punditz. The track starts slowly but builds into a frenzy… almost orgasmic. Bravo!
MJ: I'm not much into instrumental tracks to be honest but when I read the last part of why you like the last song I thought of this song by Phil Collins.

AS: 16. A R Rahman - Khwaja Mere Khwaja
The reason that I love A. R. Rahman’s music is because it comes from deep within his soul. When this song was released as part of Jodha-Akbar I would never have imagined that it was a track that I would listen to endlessly for the next six months! It is prayer, meditation, longing and passion—all bundled together into one heady mix.

MJ: The awesome thing about A.R.Rahman is how simple he seems and really is. I was talking to someone who has worked with him closely and he was telling me about how all he cares about is his work...and nothing else matters. I think that honesty, that his music and to the allmighty shows in his work. That is why I think he connects so instantly with people of all ages and nationalities.
Here's my favourite song by the maestro:

And the follow up track:

AS:17. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt & Ry Cooder - A Meeting By The River
I think that this particular album won Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Ry Cooder a Grammy in 1994. I have never been a huge fan of the Indian slide guitar but this track changed my opinion forever.

MJ: When I heard this song I thought of another duet I had heard between two great guitar players - Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler 

AS: 18. Luciano Pavarotti & Bryan Adams - ‘O Sole Mio
This is an all-time classic Italian love song but it reaches a new high when sung by Pavarotti and Bryan Adams as part of the phenomenal album “Pavarotti & Friends”. The perfect listening for a long-winding drive through the countryside!

MJ: Firstly, I have to share with you a song that Elvis did which was based on 'O Sole Mio! In fact, I just found a version in which he talks about it...and also gets someone to sing the Italian part :)
MJ: Another song that I loved, done by Pavarotti with another fantastic pop singer is a song called "I Hate You Then I Love You". In my opinion one of the greatest voices in pop music in the last couple of decades is Celine Dion. The high clear voice of Celine Dion...matched with Pavarotti's operatic tenor is just perfection.

AS: 19. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan - Tere Mast Mast Do Nayan
If there is one voice that I have grown to love, it has to be the voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. I heard him for the first time when he sang “Mann ki Lagan” and I knew I was addicted. This track from Dabangg is my all-time favourite Rahat number.

MJ: I'll not go with the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan angle on this. I'll go with Salman Khan and how he's had some fantastic songs in his movies...throughout his career. From Dabangg, my favourite song was "Chori Kiya Re Jiya". Sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Sonu Nigam, this song is absolutely astounding  for one reason...and that reason is Sonu Nigam! Don't get me wrong...Shreya Ghoshal is pretty damn awesome...but the things that Sonu Nigam does with his voice in this song...are just flawless! I think this is the best I've heard him sound on any song.

AS: 20. Shankar Mahadevan - O Sahiba
Shankar Mahadevan has to be India’s finest singer but surprisingly one of his very best songs never became a true hit. O Sahiba shows Shankar’s amazing versatility. It’s music that you could almost pray to. Strange are the ways of public opinion.

MJ: In last episode, I spoke about a song from the soundtrack of Balgandharva and how I truly believe that it has been the single greatest soundtrack for any Indian movie in the longest possible time. I shall stand by that statement and give you further proof. Kaushal Inamdar got Shankar Mahadevan to come on and sing a song for the soundtrack. The song is brilliant not just because Shankarji sang it...but more so because of the little bit that Anand Bhate does at the start and end of the song. It takes the song to a completely different level!
I believe that Shankarji has one of the greatest voices in Bollywood...but I honestly believe that Anand Bhate has one of the greatest voices that I have ever heard...anywhere in the world! Listen to the song and you'll know what I mean.

AS: 21. Jagjit Singh - Hey Govind, Hey Gopal
Jagjit Singh’s voice had that perfect husky tone that lent itself to ghazals but sounded even more amazing when he sang bhajans. This has to be one of the most melodious bhajans ever. Whenever I’m down, this is the track that I turn to.
MJ: The first time I met Jagjitji was in 2007 when, for a short while, I was working with EMI Music. That year, he released an album called "Karuna" with EMI and I had a chance to go to the studio where he was recording this album and I got to see how he went about his work. When I heard him sing this next song in front of me, I knew I was in the presence of someone truly special.
I so agree...that when he sang bhajans, he sounded even more amazing...if such a thing is even possible.

AS: 22. Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto for Two Mandolins in G Major
I would never have begun to appreciate Baroque music had it not been for Vivaldi. At first, I thought that I loved The Four Seasons. The love-affair was short-lived. When I heard his mandolin concertos I was hooked.

MJ: This is another area of music that I've not really gotten into...but the way I see it, I have a lot more time and the openness to eventually get into it. Right now I think I've heard more classical music through Tom and Jerry and old English movies (30s-60s Hollywood - my FAVOURITE time in movies) than I have in any other form. I intend to change that in the years to come but for now, I don't think I can really give a really good response song/piece to this song. 

AS: 23. Sanjeev Abhyankar, Ashwini Bhide etc. - Soham
The most hypnotic and enchanting meditative track ever. I listened to this composition repeatedly while I was writing my last book. It transported me back thousands of years to a land of spiritual purity.

Soham by Jagjit Singh, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Ashwini Bhide, Anuradha Paudwal, Uday Bhawalkar etc. on Grooveshark
MJ: Absolutely beautiful! What a way to end the show. Thank you so much for these fantastic songs. Everything from rock n roll to bhajans to music that you can meditate with. Truly a diverse and fascinating list of songs. :)
Let's do this again whenever you feel like sharing some more songs with me and my readers here.
And I wish you all the very best for your new book. I'll be picking up a copy for sure. :)
See you around Ashwin! :)

And YOU! Yeah I'm talking to you! Y U NO talk to me? :)
Let me know what you think about the songs on: or in the comments here :)

It is now time for me to say take care and have a nice day! :)
This is your Musicman...Mihir Joshi...signing off!


Monday, July 09, 2012

The MJ Show #148 - Guest Series - Ashwin Sanghi's favourites! (Part 1)

Ashwin Sanghi

I had the pleasure of interacting with tonight's guest on twitter a few months ago...and I then went on and picked up two novels that he'd written. I knew they were best sellers and super popular but I'll admit that I hadn't got down to reading them till after I met him. I gotta say this...I loved his first two books "The Rozabal Line" and "Chanakya's Chant" and I can't wait to check out his new book "The Krishna Key". (I've linked all his books to their pages. If you don't have them go to Flipkart and order them now!)
Here's a video about his new book. The book releases in August this year! Make sure you go and pick it up...or pre-order it online on flipkart!

There's a lot that can be said about the man who is a businessman by day and a brilliant writer by night but instead of me telling you more facts, I'll request you to go check out his site.
Loads of info on him and his books.
I take great pleasure in presenting to you part 1 of Ashwin's favourite songs. Get ready for some great songs ranging from classical to sufi to rock classics!
Here we go!! :)

Ashwin Sanghi (AS): 1. Wadali Bandhu - Tere Ishq Nachaya
I have always loved Qawwali and the Wadali brothers are among my favourites. Tere Ishq Nachaya is one of the most incredible poems of Bulleh Shah and the words are evergreen.

MJ: When I heard this song by the Wadali Brothers...for some inexplicable reason a song by Sona Mohapatra popped up in my head. Possibly only the song title and the main lyric line is same...but the styles and singing completely different.
Interesting song to look at in any case. Have a look:

AS: 2. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan w/ Peter Gabriel- Sanu Ik Pal Chain Na Aawe Sajna Tere Bina
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was undoubtedly a legend but when his voice was combined with the musical sensibilities of Peter Gabriel, the results were just ethereal. This particular number was heard several times by my wife and I when we were courting, and I have incredible memories of places and moments when I hear this song.

MJ: Well when you talk about the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collaborating with someone from the west, the songs that immediately pop up in my mind are "Face Of Love" and "The Long Road" which were featured in the soundtrack of Sean Penn's "Dead Man Walking". When Eddie Vedder's voice joins Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's voice on the's absolute magic!
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Eddie Vedder - Face Of Love
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Eddie Vedder - The Long Road

AS: 3. Madhup Mudgal - Nirankar Niradhar
Madhup Mudgal is one of the most unappreciated classical artistes of our times. His voice is pure and unadulterated. His rendition of Gurbani can almost make one’s eyes well up. I listen to this particular number almost every morning. Formless, imperishable, limitless and tens of other adjectives recited simply in honour of the Almighty.
Nirankar Niradhar by MADHUP MUDGAL on Grooveshark

MJ: Honestly, I had not heard of Madhup Mudgal till you told me about him. Just heard the track and though I don't have any adjectives to add to your's I'll say simply that it really was beautiful. Really enjoyed it.

AS: 4. Farida Khanum - Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo
My grandfather—the one who inspired me to read and write—loved Farida Khanum’s voice and we would end up listening to this particular ghazal again and again. It is sung so very simply that one can almost imagine the scene being played out—a lover pleading with her amour not to leave.

MJ: It's so strange that I mentioned Sona Mohapatra at the start of this episode. Many months ago when Sona was in my studio at 94.3 Radio One on my show One Mumbai One Music, she had spoken about how this song was a massive influence on her. How, Farida Khanum was one of the few female vocalists who sang in this lovely soft voice...and not the typical high pitch voice that Bollywood so prefers. It's such a beautiful song and I remember that my dad also used to love this song. Heard it many times when my dad used to drive the car and he'd put on his favourite songs on the car stereo.'s a song that I have. Lyrically it's not connected to "Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo" but I love the feel of the song and it kinda fits in. I truly believe that the greatest movie soundtrack I've heard in an Indian film in the longest time was for the movie "Balgandharva". It is my honour to say that I count the music director, Kaushal Inamdar and the lead singer of the movie, Anand Bhate as my friends...but even if I didn't know them personally I would say that I'm a massive fan of their talent. Strangely enough the song I have for you doesn't feature Anand Bhate. It features another great singer selected by Kaushal for this incredible song.
Have a look:

AS: 5. Abida Parveen - Main Naraye Mastana
Abida Parveen’s is probably one of the most powerful voices one can ever listen to, but this particular rendition has all the elements of that power mixed with a wonderful jazz element. Pure bliss!

MJ: There's something about the creativity of Pakistani musicians that's really amazing. Speaking of a great fusion of jazz/blues/rock and the Indian subcontinental style of singing I think of a fantastic band called Mekaal Hasan Band from Pakistan. Mekaal's jazz sensibilities and arrangements, his band's talent and then the voice of Javed Bashir...what a brilliant magical mix this is.
Have a look at this song by them:

AS: 6. Jafar Hussain Khan Badauni - Chhap Tilak
I had heard Chhaap Tilak many times but I fell in love with the song after I heard it sung by Jafar Hussain Sahab. I heard this for the first time in the Eighties and since then have kept hearing it. Qawwali doesn’t get any better than this.

MJ: Isn't it incredible how great songs survive no matter what.
I remember hearing this song like this:

AS: 7. Bruce Springsteen - Brilliant Disguise
From Springsteen’s album ‘Tunnel of Love” it is my all-time favourite song. I would hear it repeatedly during my student days in the US. Perfect listening for a lonely drive along the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
MJ: "The Boss" is such an incredible songwriter. "Brilliant Disguise" is one of my all time favourites by him too. Another song which I think of as an "endless loop song"...which also is a great song for a lonely drive is this next song by him. When I first heard it, I think I heard it on an endless loop for days. The saxophone solo at the end...reaches so deep within you if you let it. It's amazing what music can do to you if you just let it

AS: 8. Bryan Adams - Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman
From the soundtrack of Don Juan DeMarco, this incredible song is passionate, melancholic, and satisfying… incredibly all at once. The other awesome feature of this track is the flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia.

MJ: I remember watching the movie - Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway. The song was beautiful and so passionate. The song fit in so beautifully in the movie. In fact, the lyrics of the song had a few of Johnny Depp's lines from the movie!
Bryan Adams has such a gift. He writes beautiful, melodic, simple, incredible songs. One of my favourite songs by him is one that's not such a massive "hit"...but just listen to this. It takes my breath away.

"I never thought I'd find someone to move me 
Someone who could see right through me 
You found your way into my head 
Where even angels fear to tread."

AS: 9. Dire Straits - Water of Love
My favourite number from my days as a college student in St. Xavier’s. Used to hear this all the time. I was always fascinated by the unique percussion that forms the backdrop of this track. Haunting!

MJ: I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of fantastic musicians over the years...but a few years ago when Mark Knopfler came to Mumbai, I got a chance to meet him and I truly felt that I met one of my music idols. I've always said that if I had to get someone to make a soundtrack for my life, it would have to be Mark Knopfler. He's an absolute genius. Also, that evening in Mumbai, he just signed 3 things at the end of the press conference...and my copy of the 1978 Dire Straits LP was one of the 3 items :) It still is one of my most prized possessions! :)
I remember when I first started listening to Dire Straits...the one song that really got to me because of the incredible guitar work in the song was this next song. Hope you enjoy it too. :)

AS: 10. Eric Clapton - Layla
Inspired by Eric Clapton’s love for his friend George Harrison’s wife—Pattie Boyd, this particular track has to be the greatest rock song of all time. I have always loved Eric Clapton’s music (Tears in Heaven, Cocaine, You Look Wonderful Tonight…) but this is in a league of its own.
MJ: When I first heard the phrase "lyrical guitarist" about Clapton, many years ago, I didn't quite get it but over the years, having heard him, I completely get it. His guitar playing isn't playing for the sake of playing. The phrases and the solos speak to his listeners. I remember John Mayer once commenting in a concert that Eric Clapton's guitar playing reaches out to those people who don't know how many strings a guitar has...and I don't think anyone could have put it better. I've loved so many of his songs...but since you spoke about George's a song on which George Harrison called over Clapton to come and play the guitar on a Beatles album.
In fact, I have a rare live performance in which you can see them play together!!

(By the way, look around in the video...for a LOT of famous faces jamming in on this song!)

AS: 11. The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise
Surprisingly enough, The Eagles are best remembered for Hotel California. In my opinion, though, Tequila Sunrise is far better. The rhythm guitar and the mournful words almost make you feel that you are the guy who has been ditched by a lover!

MJ: There are two songs I love and immediately think of when I think of The Eagles. Both songs are hauntingly beautiful and in my opinion, just like you said, much better than Hotel California.
The first of the two was in fact, on the Hotel California album!
Here's a live performance of "Wasted Time". This was taken live At Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand on the 26th of November, 1995.
MJ: The second was on their 1979 album "The Long Run". The song was written by Timothy B. Schmit, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley, and was the first Eagles song to feature Schmit on lead vocals. There's something about Timothy Schmit's voice that really really gets to me. His clear high voice just lends something completely magical to this already beautiful song. Have a look at a  live performance of the song from their  Farewell Tour - Live From Melbourne, Australia at the Rod Laver Arena! Incredible!

MJ: What a brilliant 1st part once again! :) 
(I said "once again" because just a few days ago we had another 2 part "Guests Series" show with Mid-day Executive Editor Sachin Kalbag. If you missed that, see it now!

I'll put up part of Ashwin's favourite songs in my next episode. Don't miss it!

And get in on the action! Let me know what you think about the songs on: or in the comments here :)

It is now time for me to say take care and have a nice day! :)
This is your Musicman...Mihir Joshi...signing off!


  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008 | Gorgeous Beaches of Goa

Back to TOP