Sitting in my car en route to the gym last night, I was carried, not just by a Jeep, to my destination, but on waves of sound offered from the heart, soul and voice of Steven Groff. His newly released CD is called Meet Me At Your Heart and it is a simple and profound offering to the Divine in the form of sacred Sanskrit call and response chanting known as kirtan. I have been enraptured for years, listening to Steven live and in person at Philly area events called Chant, Chai and Charity. His vocal abilities have the same flavor as the real Indian chai that is served there…a bit of sweetness with a tad of spice that warms the listener from the inside out.
This release is a true family affair that includes the talents of his wife Rhoni Groff, daughter Jade Groff, daughter Mira Newman and son in-law David Newman who themselves are internationally known kirtan artists. Add to the mix Rama Bala, Sarah Carlisle, Phillippo Franchini, Alfred Goodrich, Renata Gregori, Sarah Halley, Anna Krain, Corey Sokoloff, Jenny Stout, Marianne and Randy Sutin and Hoagy Wing and you have a large, extended family of choice. I think of the backup singers as ‘anahata angels’ (anahata is the Sanskrit term for the heart chakra) whose sonic support might very well have wings.
The seven pieces on the CD honor various aspects of deity. The first selection is Calling Ganesh, paying tribute to the Elephant head God who is known as the remover of obstacles. Jai Ma is a devotional to the Divine Feminine in her many permutations such as Lakshmi, Durga and Kali. The original title piece Meet Me At Your Heart beckons the listener to join the community of kindred spirits. Hare Ram is an offering to ‘the shining one’…Lord Vishnu. Shyam Radhe Shyam is a chant that opens the door to the heart as it speaks of the eternal connection between Radhe and Krishna. Govinda Gopala refers to the incarnation of Krishna as a youth. The closing piece…a peaceful send off is the traditional chant: Lokah which translates to:
May all beings, in all worlds be blessed with freedom, health and happiness
Om, we invoke the Divine Primordial Source Energy to infuse us with
Peace in all bodies, Peace in all minds, Peace in all souls.
Meet Me At Your Heart is a CD that should accompany you on your travels both on and off the yoga mat or meditation cushion.
You can listen to a sampling that will have you wanting more…entitled Jai Ma