Garth Hewitt And Paul Field - The Dalit Drum

Tuesday 4th September 2001
Garth Hewitt And Paul Field - The Dalit Drum
Garth Hewitt And Paul Field - The Dalit Drum

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Trevor Kirk

Dalit is a Sanskrit word which means crushed, broken or oppressed, and it's used in the Indian sub-continent to describe a group of over a quarter of a million low-caste people, previously known as the 'untouchables', whose plight has received worldwide media publicity of late. Veteran troubadours Garth Hewitt and Paul Field have produced this album to highlight the casteism that still pervades much of Indian culture and to add their musical voices to the growing international clamour for something to be done. Leaving aside the politics, the music is full of rootsy rhythms and Eastern-style melodies, with plenty of drums to the fore, which were recorded earlier this year when Garth and Paul visited India to research the album - the significance of the drum for the Dalits is that as drummers they had to touch the skins of dead animals and this is what made them untouchable. Highlight for me of a very worthy project is "Indian Sun", which Paul wrote after seeing a young child whilst in India, and the song explores the thought that this child is still blissfully unaware of the concept of prejudice; it also features lead vocal by Sir Cliff Richard (who himself, of course, was born in India). I've heard a few politico-Christian albums down the years that have ended up merely as histrionic rants; Messrs Hewitt and Field have crafted a thoughtful set of songs and if this album doesn't leave its mark on your conscience, then you've got a heart of stone.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Shadows Of The World [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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