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Eastern Intrigue

Not to be confused with L. Shankar (the violinist famous for his work with Echo and the Bunnymen and Peter Gabriel), vocalist Lakshmi Shankar is the sister-in-law of sitar master Ravi Shankar. Active in India's performing arts circles since the 1940s, Shankar performs Hindustani songs that are among the subcontinent's most stirring. Of her many recorded works, her live albums are consistently the most goose bump-inducing -- although she's perhaps best known for her contributions to the Gandhi soundtrack. Traditional folk music from the Tamil region, religious bhajans, and classical ragas in the khayal style are Shankar's mainstays, delivered with typically devotional intensity.


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