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On discovering a raucous dhol-driven wedding band

Arun Katiyar Aug 22, 2013
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There is hardly any distance between 6 Saunta Vaddo and 13 Saunta Vaddo in Assagaon, Goa. But after dinner, I don’t want to waste a minute walking back. I want to get back and listen to Red Baraat.

6 Saunta Vaddo is where I have been hanging out at these past four days. It is where Satish Warier runs Gunpowder, a restaurant with an unforgettable peninsular slant. It is also where Orijit Sen runs People Tree, a store with fabulously original Indian tee shirts and other hand crafted I-must-haves. 13 Saunta Vaddo is my escape at the moment, the place where I am staying. The light drizzle is helping quicken my pace through the dark.

Red Baraat is a wedding band that Orijit, whom I have been recently introduced to, mentions on his Facebook page. Indian Ocean has used Orijit’s home in Delhi for 14 years (a note acknowledges this on their album, 16/330 Khajoor Road). I am guessing Orijit knows a little more about good music than most of us would hope to. 6 Saunta Vaddo has an even deeper connection to music. Satish used to manage Menwhopause in Delhi before he took to running the most adorable restaurant I have been to in recent times (the Kerala mutton curry at Gunpowder could be the new voice of Indian culinary art).

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For the moment, I forget the curry. So overpowering is Red Baraat.

Of course, Red Baraat is like your everyday wild and raucous dhol-driven wedding band. But hang on. They also have the most unexpected bhangra, rap, funk and big, bold and brassy New Orleans-style jazz thrown in. It is quite unlike anything I have heard in a long, long time.

Forgive my enthusiasm if you have already heard Red Baraat. If not, now is a good time to crank up the volume on your player and listen to them.

After hitting ”˜replay’ on Red Baraat, I hasten back to Orijit’s Facebook page. Is there other stuff I am missing? And I am rewarded with Richard Bona in Japan opening Weather Report’s “Teen Town” with strains of Kailash Kher’s “Teri Diwani.” Teri Diwani? I kid you not!

Two astonishing Indian slants to jazz in one night? Fantastic.

I think I’ll wait for Orijit to dig out some more. 

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