Album: Debashish Bhattacharya, O Shakuntala! (Riverboat)

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The Independent Culture

India's maestro of the slide guitar was destined by his parents to be a singer, but when a Hawaiian steel guitar was put into his lap at three, it was love at first sight. He earned the title Pandit ("master") at 40, and at 45 is still broadening his scope.

His chaturangi has 22 strings, which allow it to mimic the veena, sarangi, saz, or Western guitar; here he performs with his brother on the tabla, and two female artists on the barrel drum. His subtly melismatic swoops make this record a treat.