Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 3
Sharing the loveLarisa Stow and Shakti Tribe bring their East/West fusion of peace-mantra pop rock to Unity Chapel of Light
BY JOE PAYNE
People across the globe have chanted in many tongues words of peace, love, God, and togetherness for millennia, making connections to others solely with the power of music.
A touring group heading through town celebrates the tradition of spirituality, prayer, and mantra with a contemporary alternative twist. Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe is the brainchild of Stow, who writes her own original songs that also include peace prayers and mantras from around the world.
“Our shows, we like to call them ‘transformances,’” she said. “People walk in one way and come out feeling different, feeling lighter and happier.”
Stow started out as a pop-rock singer/songwriter in the 1990s; she recorded an album titled Moment by Moment, and played the club circuit getting her music out there. But on Sept. 11, 2001, everything changed for her.
“I was really thrown by what happened [on Sept. 11] and I wanted to connect to my own spirit and so I started putting peace prayers to music and concentrating energy, and bringing in the sound of the East, the music I loved so much in my childhood,” she said.
Stow’s father was a sitar player and her mother a tabla player. And it was Indian cosmology that helped Stow name her band, which has featured several musicians over the years.
“Everything that makes up the energy in the universe is Shakti,” she said. “Shakti is supposed to represent the feminine, and consciousness the masculine, coming together; some people say it’s love.”
As of now, the love tribe includes guitarist Kimo Estores, bassist Benj Clarke, woodwind instrumentalist Richard Hardy, and violinist Bethany Grace Folsom. The group will be appearing at Unity Chapel of Light in Orcutt with guest drummer Jeffrey Urbach.
Together, the group performs a fusion of Eastern spiritual mantric music with American pop rock. Stow doesn’t consider her music “religious,” but rather spiritual due to its inclusive nature.
“There is a whole dogma that goes with each religion, and in spirituality it is the inner values and the commonality,” she said. “A mantra is a pure vibration; they are not dogmatic, they are a direct transmission of love.”
Stow, who believes in the transformative and healing power of music, has actually brought her music to an unlikely venue: prisons. She became aware of peaceful prison outreach through Bo Lozoff and the Human Kindness Foundation and then got the Shakti Tribe involved with performing in prisons.
“I thought if people could go into prisons and lift people up, that would help them,” Stow said. “It’s a calling and the band was on board.”
Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe perform at a lot of spiritual centers, like Unity of the Center for Spiritual Living. They often perform at yoga studios, and they also love performing at music festivals.
“We do the Holy Festival of Colors in Utah; we played in front of 25,000 people last year,” she said. “We are excited to network and create new families.”
Those who attend the Unity concert won’t have to share the group with 25,000 people, but those who show up will enjoy the communal nature of the performance, which welcomes audience singing and dancing.
“I love the idea of singing a peace prayer or mantra and doing a call and response with the audience so they can chant it back,” she said. “That’s really exciting to me; to get everybody involved.”
Wine, poetry, music
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 E. Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
Why not ‘Wine Down’
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro presents “Wine Down Wednesdays” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro, located at 400 E. Clark Ave., Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
Tune in to the Frequency
Ian Franklin and Infinite Frequency perform live contemporary rock music on March 29 at 9:30 p.m. at the Wicked Shamrock at 143 North H St., Lompoc. More info: 736-9132 or thewickedshamrock.com.
Ian Franklin and Infinite Frequency will also be performing live on March 30 at 6 p.m. at the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., 45 Industrial Way, Buellton. More info: 694-2252 or ianfranklinmusic.com.
Live from L.A.
O’Sullivan’s Pub plays host to local band Bloom and Embark and Los Angeles rock groups Straight Dimes and Santoros on March 29 starting at 9 p.m. at O’Sullivan’s Pub, 633 E. Main St., Santa Maria. More info: 925-0658 or osullivanspub.net.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including live country by The Mean Gene Band on March 29 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Owen Johnston is March 30 at 3 p.m. The Little/Big Band performs live on March 30 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.