An unusual Christmas / karmic blues combo

Londoner, Ajay Srivastav releases a unique Christmas combo, featuring his sitar and tabla driven version of the hymn, Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing, backed by My Illusion a ‘karmic blues’, from his 2019 debut album of the same name.

Critically acclaimed UK Blues musician Ajay Srivastav releases a double-sided Christmas single that unites different cultures and musical traditions and resonates with echoes of English Pastoral, Delta Blues and Indian folk. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is a Christian hymn from 1757 written by the pastor and hymnodist Robert Robinson at the age of 22. Ajay’s haunting version uses his signature sound of slide guitar, tabla and sitar to bring the song into the 21st century.

Come Thou Fount… is supported by a video that stresses the importance of remembering the true meaning of Christmas over the commercial occasion it has become.

He also offers My Illusion from his lauded Karmic Blues album, commenting “Maya is worldly illusion – all that which distracts us from the truth. In Hindu/Vedic mythology, the goddess Maya is also the ‘giver of awareness’.  follows a traditional Blues format, where the singer begs his woman to help him get his life together, this song is a call to the Goddess to be set on the right path.

Ajay is Hindu by birth, Catholic by education and married to a Muslim. He is a spiritual explorer by choice. He recorded Come Thou Fount… as a promise to The Revd Steve Clarke, vicar at St Andrew’s Church in Archway, North London, where Ajay was born and raised. Revd Clarke asked Ajay to perform the hymn at the local Christmas Carol Service last year. He had seen Ajay perform his own songs which take their inspiration from Vedic philosophy.

He explains: “Last December I finished mixing my debut album – Karmic Blues. I was talking to Steve after the carol service and he said that one day he would love it if I recorded the hymn I had performed. I jokingly said that if my album was a hit, I’d record the hymn. The album went to No. 1 in the Amazon Blues charts, so I kept my word!”

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