Ross Hammond & Poly Varghese: Across Oceans
Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s 1993 album, A Meeting By the River, has long been the most memorable meeting of American and Indian slide guitarists. However, Bhatt disciple Poly Varghese follows his guru’s lead on Across Oceans (Bandcamp), a remarkable collection of improvisations with Sacramento slider Ross Hammond. Varghese—who plays the mohan veena, a 20-string Hawaiian guitar designed by Bhatt—and Hammond spontaneously blend freestyling Americana Hindustani classical music. The extended “Global Blues” and “Rashomon Blues” are particularly enthralling, part of an international twang whose time has come.