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Hear Chandresh Kudwa’s Roaring New Album ‘Free Spirit’

The Mumbai guitar veteran ropes in bass whiz Mohini Dey and drumming ace Gino Banks for diverse instrumental rock

Anurag Tagat Dec 03, 2018

Chandresh Kudwa. Photo: Sunny Daimari

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A lot of musicians can turn attention away from their craft to concentrate on their family, but Mumbai-based guitar ace Chandresh Kudwa found a better way. He only recent gushed about playing guitar for his six-year-old daughter Eva’s performance of Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons,” but also notes that his wife Eurica was essentially a co-producer of his new album Free Spirit.

Kudwa, an experienced axe man who’s played with several bands including rockers Dream Out Loud and worked as a studio artist and live performer for commercial artists over the last two decades, says his wife had “a good ear for music.” He adds, “Most of the external input while writing songs (for Free Spirit) was from my wife. She’d just say, ‘What rubbish are you writing?’ She was criticizing in an honest way.”

The final product, which released on November 15th via Apple Music (followed by a public release on all platforms on November 29th), features not just versatility of Kudwa, but also one of the country’s most reliable rhythm sections – bassist Mohini Dey and drummer Gino Banks. Kudwa says, “Once the songs were done, I was thinking of whom I should involve. Gino and I used to be in this band called Nexus and he was the first person who came to mind. He comes from that rock background and I knew he could play over these songs with conviction.” As for Dey, Kudwa says he wanted someone doubling over his guitar parts but also “add their own thing.”

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While working on Free Spirit – from the chicken-picking experiments on “Disco Chicken” to the stargazing rock on “Pink Star” (which was born out of strumming a ukulele in his daughter’s room) – Kudwa says he subconsciously left parts out to “let people (collaborators) do their thing.” About a year in the making, it’s Kudwa’s follow-up to 2012’s Conqueror. “I had 30 ideas, but I didn’t want to release anything I wasn’t excited about. The final nine tracks all bring out a different vibe and different influences,” the guitarist says.

The next challenge, of course, is finding time between Banks, Dey and himself to take Free Spirit live. “We’ve spoken about it and it’s just a matter for finding dates for everyone,” Kudwa says. In the meantime, there’s a new video for “Disco Chicken” in the works, due later this month.

Listen to ‘Free Spirit’ here.

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