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I'm Right Here

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Album Review

In the rock world, new age has often been the butt of jokes. That was especially true in the '80s, but so many different types of artists end up in the new age bins that it's risky to make generalizations about the genre. Someone who doesn't care for Kitaro might appreciate Lucia Hwong, and someone who isn't a Yanni fan might own all of Enya's CDs. Those who think of new age as spacy, totally electronic instrumental music that lacks real song structures would be surprised to learn that I'm Right Here isn't that way at all — vocal personality, real instruments (which range from piano, bass, and guitar to Indian tabla drums), and real song structures are all prime ingredients of this new age/adult contemporary release. In fact, some new age purists might claim that I'm Right Here isn't true-blue new age — they might argue that singer/songwriter Kathy Zavada is really an adult contemporary/pop artist who just happens to have some highly spiritual, Eastern-influenced lyrics. But however one categorizes I'm Right Here, Zavada's singing and writing are equally solid on ethereal, peaceful offerings like "Mother Please Come," "Oasis of Love," and "Blissful Stillness." The influence of Eastern religion is impossible to miss on this CD, and "Oh, My Lord" finds Zavada incorporating part of the "Maha-Mantra" (i.e., "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare"). For those who don't know much about Hinduism, "Maha-Mantra" (also known as the "Hare Krishna Mantra") is a traditional Hindu chant — and it is right at home on an album as Eastern-minded as I'm Right Here. But most of the time, Zavada uses English lyrics to get her message across on this memorable 2000 release.


Born: Baltimore, MD

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Kathy Zavada is a new age/adult contemporary vocalist, pianist, and producer whose work has been heavily influenced by traditional Indian music and Eastern religion. Zavada isn't an Indian purist, although she has, at times, shown a strong awareness of artists like Ravi Shankar, Jai Uttal and Ali Akbar Khan. Zavada is willing to use Indian tabla drums on her recordings, and she can sing in Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) as well as in English (her primary language). Many of the adjectives that...
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I'm Right Here, Kathy Zavada
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