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Shambhu | Lilac Skies

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Lilac Skies

by Shambhu

Lilac Skies, the 4th full-length release from guitarist, composer and producer Shambhu, features his guitar magic on 10 new songs in a dazzling and masterful new age/contemporary instrumental album with Acoustic, Brazilian, and Jam Band roots.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lilac Skies
3:49 $0.99
2. Unspoken Words
3:27 $0.99
3. Dochas
3:43 $0.99
4. Blue Whispers
4:00 $0.99
5. Pondering When
3:06 $0.99
6. Open Your Heart Sky
4:52 $0.99
7. Dream Walk
4:51 $0.99
8. Basis of It All
3:54 $0.99
9. Inspired by the Night
7:35 $0.99
10. Seeing You Again
4:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Lilac Skies means Infinite Love Lilac the color of love. Sky the infinite and endless possibility.

Lilac Skies is the 4th release from guitarist, composer and producer Shambhu. This instrumental album features Shambhu’s guitar magic on 10 new songs in a dazzling new age/contemporary album with progressive new age, acoustic, Brazilian and jam band roots.

A who’s who of magically talented musicians joined Shambhu (guitars, e-keyboards, e-bass) for this live studio recording, including San Francisco Bay Area superstar session players Frank Martin (keyboards), Celso Alberti (drums and percussion), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Premik Russell Tubbs on flute, EWI and lap steel guitar, Celso Alberti on percussion, Kristin Hoffmann on voice, and Alec Hamilton on e-keyboards. Shambhu also recorded two acoustic guitar songs at Magic Cottage Studios with Todd Boston, who mixed the album. Additional recordings took place in Switzerland, Westhampton Beach, San Diego and Maui.

Composed, arranged and produced by Shambhu

Shambhu (guitars, e-keyboards, e-bass)
Frank Martin (keyboards)
Celso Alberti (drums and percussion)
Kai Eckhardt (bass)
Premik Russell Tubbs (EWI, flute and lap pedal steel guitar)
Kristin Hoffmann (vocals)

Recorded by Adam Muñoz at Fantasy Studios (Berkeley CA)
Mixed by Todd Boston at Magic Cottage Studios (Lagunitas CA)
Mastered by Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios (Windham County, VT)

Copyright 2018 by Shambhu Neil Vineberg. Published by Sacred Love Music (BMI).



to write a review

R J Lannan - Artisan Music Reviews

Lilac Skies
Lilac Skies

Takes a goodly portion of jazz, add a little R & B, include a modicum of contemporary music, shake it up a bit and chill slightly and you end up with an amazing upbeat album by talented guitarist and composer Shambhu and his friends. It is called Lilac Skies. What gives the eye and the heart more pleasure than a lavender sky to start a day? Lilac skies at night perhaps. In either case, the fourth release by this jazz style guitarist is ten tracks of mellow music guaranteed to uplift, soothe, and entertain all. Joining Shambhu on the album are Kai Eckhardt on bass, Frank Martin on keyboards, Celso Alberti on percussion, the ubiquitous Premik Russell Tubbs on flute and sax, Alec Hamilton on the Hammond organ, and Kristin Hoffmann on background vocals. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
When dawn decides to grace the land, the combination of light and clouds makes for a marvelous display. Those lavender hues seem to please the soul like no other. Shambhu transforms those colors into musical notes with the same magic ability. The recording opens with the title tune Lilac Skies as a musical icebreaker so to speak. The animated tone of the album is well expressed in this first piece and it not only promises a blissful journey, but also delivers.
Next Shambhu features his unique fretwork on a melodic ballad called Unspoken Words. These are not utterances left unsaid, but words expressed in a language understood by soft smiles, bright eyes, and inspired hearts. This is a truly beautiful guitar piece with a languorous flow and mellifluous refrain. Dynamic guitar riffs and ornate piano counterpoise in the tune Blue Whispers. There’s something dark and steamy about this one. There is subliminal heat and heavy emotion disguised as a bluesy ballad like a Robin Ford song. This is one of the best of the best on Lilac Skies. Open Your Heart Sky is a sophisticated song with a lot of sentiment. It is one of those that easily becomes an anthem for the cause with its strong compositional elements, jazzy electric guitar, and complemental Hammond organ trimmings. Percussion and deep bass add the extras that pull it together into a unified theme. This is an invitation to soar, to live, and to breathe. You might as well surrender.
There are some terrific piano riffs in Inspired by the Night and Seeing You Again. Together, they are probably the most complex tunes on the album, but individually, they are like night and day. Inspired by the Night has some groovin’ bass licks by Eckhardt that drive the song forward. Your nocturnal encounter consists of a black, bountiful blanket of stars, some warm breezes, and don’t forget the most important component of all, thou. Seeing You Again is the final cut on Lilac Skies and presents a warm and quite fond farewell. It is celebration of sound with no regrets. The listener has partaken of the joyful menu and ends up a satisfied customer.
I liked every track for its diversity, yet its loyalty to the main theme, that of unwavering joy. Shambhu has done a brilliant job of not only offering up the music to keep your mood in a positive vibe, but also bringing together just the right talents to make it happen. Highly recommended - R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews

Steve Sheppard

One of the most sun kissed releases of the year
I am totally in my element here, this is the sort of music that I could listen to all day long, Shambhu has such a delightfully fluent way of playing the guitar that it seems to just drip off the fingers like warm Honey on a July afternoon, it simple doesn’t get any better than this.
Lilac Skies is a journey I take willingly, and if you also voyage with me through this stunning new release you too will find a place of musical bliss and a sanctuary of heavenly tunes as well. The very first offering is the title track Lilac Skies, smooth jazz at its very best can be found right here, the charming techniques that Shambhu employs are masterful and majestic moments of crafted genius, the percussion here is also some vibrant, but respectfully chilled.
As a guitarist myself when I listen to albums like this I feel a sense of inspiration. On the piece called Unspoken Words we have a composition that actually speaks a thousand words with no need for speech at all, the guitar is the voice, one that creates such an imploring tone that you simply can’t help but be moved by it, utterly delightful and deeply moving indeed.
Dochas, now the only thing I can recall is that this maybe the meaning for hope in Gaelic, if that’s so the energy that this piece gives off, and the distinct Celtic vibe with the flute and ethereal background vocalisations, has captured the mood perfectly; this is one of those compositions that is instantly likeable and one that you want to hit the repeat button with multiple times over.
Apart from the title track this arrangement was one of my favourites, it’s called Blue Whispers, the sensitive vibe here is beautifully partnered with an almost rocky blues style ethic which is truly exciting; there is deepness to this piece and the performance by the artist is utterly sublime and classy at every turn, the skill set used by Shambhu is breath taking here, and at times I could have sworn I was listening to the smooth slow hand of non-other than Eric Clapton.
Time to pause and take a breather as we listen to the piece that ushers in the half way marker of the album, this is a simply idyllic acoustic offering called Pondering When. This is one of those tracks that reminded me of Black Sabbaths acoustic composition on their 70’s release Sabbath Bloody Sabbath called Fluff; of course the two songs are nothing alike at all, other than to give us a few moments of ambient guitar to enable us to breathe and enjoy the reverie of the moment.
When we hit the first few bars of Open Your Heart Sky we realise that this is a track of sublime quality, the multi-instrumental nature of this offering is of the highest quality you could expect, and one must also applaud the use of the organ within the construction of the song, followed by some simply radiant keyboards and a real driving percussive beat, this is what you call real music.
There is a certain lightness of spirit on this next offering entitled Dream Walk, the essence of musical awareness here is divine, one that created for me a true feel good moment, the guitar employed a wonderful fluency that literally seemed to float all around me as I listened, the keyboards and added instrumentation seem to gather energy as the piece moved onwards and created on its conclusion one of the finest pieces off the release.
One of the most unusual pieces for me was Basis of it All, this offering gave us a greater understanding of the talents of the artist Shambhu, I have no doubt in my mind he could pretty much play any style offered to him, however on this piece we have a track that seems to build like a rock song and then morph into a stunningly vibrant pop composition and with a smoothness of transition, then back into a charming contemporary instrumental arrangement of sheer quality, what a very clever piece indeed.
The longest piece of the release is a track called Inspired by the Night and at well over seven and a half minutes long it is a delectable opportunity to literally bathe in some utterly sublime tones of guitar based magic. The pertinent percussion here is also a treat to enjoy, as is the brass work as well. One could feel the energy of a warm night in September, the glow of the street lights in the city down below. Shambhu on this offering delivers a performance that the likes of Robert Cray would have been proud of; the piano here is also part of this classy vibe, one that manifests something so listenable, something so graphic and attractive.
I almost feel sad now, I have just realised that this is the last track off the album; it is called Seeing You Again. The energy of this piece and the performance on it is indeed like a musical farewell of sorts, but we will see you again. Smooth and tranquil, light and almost ambient at times, this simply has to be the best leaving piece you could ever wish to end an album with.
Lilac Skies is going to be one of those albums that will be played relentlessly by me all summer long, it is so very listenable and all inclusive. The performances on it are ones of the highest qualities, and Shambhu’s guitar constantly rains down notes of triumphant bliss with a professional consistency right through the album. Lilac Skies will give to the listener one of the most sun kissed releases of the year, if any album could be described as cool then this one would be king.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Lilac Skies" is the fourth album from award-winning composer/guitarist Shambhu, and what an incredibly good album it is! Something of a hybrid of new age and jazz genres, the overall vibe of the ten original tracks is relaxed and upbeat. The title itself means “infinite love” - “Lilac” is the color of love and “Skies” are the infinite and endless possibilities. Shambhu sums it up well in this quote: “This music is dedicated to lifting us up inside. Relax, groove, dance, enjoy and love.” Eight of the ten pieces were recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA and two were recorded at Todd Boston’s Magic Cottage Studios in Marin County, CA; Boston also mixed the album. Shambhu performs on guitars, e-keyboards and e-bass, and the ensemble musicians include Frank Martin (keyboards), Celso Alberti (drums and percussion), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Premik Russell Tubbs (flute, EWI and lap steel guitar), Kristin Hoffmann (voice) and Alec Hamilton (e-keyboards). I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of Shambhu’s previous releases: "Sacred Love" (2010), "Dreaming of Now" (2013), and "Soothe" (2017), but this one seems to have a special magic that I can’t quite identify. I’ve listened to it four or five times now, and just can’t get enough!

"Lilac Skies" begins with the title track, a piece Shambhu composed when he was 19. Smooth and easy-going with a gentle but infectious groove, you just know from the first moments of the piece that the album is going to be exceptional. “Unspoken Words” is an acoustic guitar solo that communicates directly from heart to heart - absolutely gorgeous! “Dochas” is Irish for “hope,” and that piece has a Celtic flavor and a quietly swaying rhythm. Light flute and wordless vocals enhance the beautiful melody. “Pondering When” is the second acoustic guitar solo, and it’s both hypnotic and very soothing. The rhythm feels much like the slow ebb and flow of the tide on a peaceful seashore. “Open Your Heart Sky” quietly suggests the gentle movement of a romantic slow dance under a starlit sky. This one has some beautiful organ and piano passages that blend seamlessly with the guitars and percussion. Love it! “Dream Walk” makes me think of walking on a cloud, soaking up some sunshine and feeling like it’s the best day ever. “Basis of It All” was also composed when Shambhu was 19. It begins with a solo guitar intro before the beat picks up and other musicians join in for an upbeat and easy-going bit of musical fun. At a little over 7 1/2 minutes, “Inspired by the Night” is the longest piece on the album. Tranquility (with a pulse) set to music, this piece could have been inspired by dark, quiet late-night streets or the movement of water reflecting moonlight. It’s a beauty! It also features some really nice piano!

Expect to hear a lot of very well-deserved kudos for Shambhu and "Lilac Skies." Very highly recommended!