Continuing To Overcome: From Folk To Rock

One thing leads to another and here I am writing several pieces on Pete Seeger, who orchestrated “We Shall Overcome“; a slow, sad, and redolent-of-the-old-south hymn, and made it into the ultimate protest song.

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For another take on “protest”, watch the “Galeej Gurus”, from Bangalore, India, perform “We Shall Overcome” in their own way; as a rock-n-roll anthem.
From “Rolling Stone”, India
“Galeej Gurus is an alternative/indie rock band from Bangalore. Since their formation in 2000 the Gurus have played over 450 gigs all over the country
June 17, 2011
Galeej Gurus is an alternative/indie rock band from Bangalore. Since their formation in 2000 the Gurus have played over 450 gigs all over the country and are the winners of SHAMAL (Battle of the Bands at Dubai Desert Rock Festival). The band has a number of original compositions and is working on their debut album.
The band’s music has been classified by critics as Indie, along with a host of other genres such as Progressive Rock, Funk, and Blues-Rock. Their influences are Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Clapton, Steve Vai and Deep Purple.
The voice of the band, Nathan was the Galeej Gurus’ original drummer. After juggling between the sticks and his vocal chords for nearly six years, he made the decision to drop the drums and concentrate on singing, and fronting the band – since a frontman was often missed on stage. He says he does not regret having chosen to quit beating the skins, but given a choice, he would still prefer the drums over singing – but as his luck would have it, good vocalists are harder to find than anything else – so he is now the vocalist of the band – as well as being the premier lyricist.
Nathan’s twin and thoroughly experimental bassist, Matthew has been teasing the lower octaves for around 10 years now, and is the backbone of the band. Being a fan of modern guitar funk, most of the Galeej riffs and runs originate from him and his constant concern is finding new ways to present Galeej compositions.
Along with Nathan and Matthew, Ananth Menon is the band’s third founding member. He has been playing the six strings for more than 8 years, and is particularly fascinated with the blues. He considers himself a student of Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan – Ekalavya style. Possibly the most retro of all the band members, he has to frequently be reminded that we live in the 21st Century. He listens to all sorts of music, and has even been involved with commercial cinema music, albeit briefly. He has decided that for him, where he is heading with the Galeej is more fulfilling than commercial music.
Generally acknowledged as the most technically proficient and savvy musician in the band, Naveen has played with the popular Chennai band Molotov Cocktail and Bangalore- based Parousia. He was Ananth’s replacement when Ananth took a break from the band to pursue commercial film music, and is the other guitarist in the band now. He has taken the Galeej sound to harder territory, and has brought in a sense of discipline in the band thanks to his rigorous approach to his instrument.
Kishen has been on the music scene for roughly 3 1/2 years and has progressed and grown as a drummer. He has been part of local acts like ‘Caesar’s Palace’ ‘Extinct reflections’ and ‘Soup for the Day’. His influences primarily stem from contemporary Jazz with his favourite artists being Pat Metheny, Shaun Rhineheart, John Mcloughlin and L.Shankar.”galeej_gurus
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One thought on “Continuing To Overcome: From Folk To Rock

  1. How wonderful to hear Pete Seeger, one of America’s national treasures, recall with such stunning clarity the journey of We Shall Overcome!

    I remember how powerfully stirring it was to hear We Shall Overcome sung back in the 60s. I say… it’s time for its resurrection… hmmm, the resurgent rallying cry of the impending greyhairs revolution.

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