Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band's New Album 'Unity' to Be Released 8/19
From Bhakti Fest to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band have struck peoples' hearts with their soulful, imaginative music that merges mantras, rock, gospel and world grooves into a fresh new idiom.
The New Orleans-based trio - vocalist/harmonium player and band founder Sean Johnson, bassist/guitarist Alvin Young and singer/percussionist Gwendolyn Colman are challenging common perceptions about the nature of yoga music, as they re-invent the soundtrack by mixing ancient Sanskrit mantras from India into a vibrant gumbo of decidedly contemporary flavors. The first and only kirtan ensemble ever to play on the hallowed stages of Louisiana's massive "Jazzfest" gathering, the band is regarded as one of the most distinctive in western devotional music; their dynamic sound has won over widespread fans nationwide and their live performances have transformed yoga studios across America as well as Europe into thriving, ecstatic concert and dance halls.
Unity, the band's third studio album, is a collection of ten unique, soul-stirring songs that reveal the band more at ease than ever with interpreting and expressing spiritual mantra music from the East through the guts and authenticity of their own American roots. The album takes the listener on a revelatory journey through myriad soundscapes that celebrate the universal connection between the world's spiritual traditions from belly dance rhythms, Motown-inspired grooves, back porch guitar stomp, and gospel chorus to trance-inducing eastern strings - brimming with passionate verses from Rumi, tantra yoga sutras, and chants from a variety of spiritual traditions. Some songs are perfect as a playlist for yoga flow practice, while others are superb for simply savoring life at full blast.
Unity is the most seasoned expression of Sean, Alvin, and Gwendolyn's decade of steady touring and creating music together, steeping in each other's diverse influences. The new album takes the band's efforts to build spiritual and musical bridges to a whole new level of musicianship and exuberance. The album also features contributions from producer Chris Rosser (Free Planet Radio) on keyboards, chumbush, and dotar, and from drummer extraordinaire Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit).
Unity was recorded in the fresh mountain air of Asheville, North Carolina, at Sound Temple Studios - a very unique recording facility founded by Robert George. Noted international studio designer Wes Lachot studied the architecture and acoustics of great temples and sacred spaces around the world for many years, an experience that helped him create what was envisioned as literally a "sound temple." In addition to his research, he drew upon such diverse resources as the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, sacred geometry, feng shui, the Five Elements, the Four Directions, the Fibonacci Scale, and the Golden Ratio to help create a very special, sacred "vibe" within a world class recording studio.
Band founder Sean Johnson has been leading kirtan for over eighteen years. Influenced in equal parts by his New Orleans roots, his ancestral Irish heritage, his study of Indian vocal music, and his love of bhakti yoga (the yoga of the heart), Sean is also founder of Wild Lotus Yoga studios in New Orleans, and of Soul School, an interdisciplinary yoga and spirituality training program that focuses on teaching yoga with skill and imagination.