Bill ”Ravi” Harris & the Prophets – Funky Sitar Man

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Bill “Ravi” Harris is the funky sitar man. Ravi Harris & the Prophets play James Brown/Meters-inspired funk with a difference: The main voice on these instrumentals is sitar. It might be viewed as a gimmick — if it didn’t work so well. Harris is never going to make it as a performer of Indian classical music; he hasn’t got the chops for that, but his playing on this album is as good as it needs to be (let’s face it, Indian classical and instrumental funk require decidedly different skills). Solid bass, syncopated drums, chicken-scratch guitar, and economical organ fills form the backdrop, and the funky sitar rides at the front. They cover both James Brown and the Meters, which are interesting, but the originals are where it’s at. This has got to be the greatest album of sitar funk ever (not that there’s much competition). Funky Sitar Man is lots of fun, and recommended to fans of late-’60s style funk with open ears.

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