On tunes like "Traveling down the Line," a Cliffs Notes version of being at peace with the cycle of life and death, and "Bardo," a travel guide about the passage from death back to life, Sangsara's spiritual foundation is front and center. And you don't have to have a copy of the Book of the Dead on your coffee table to be moved by the music any more than you have to be a fundamentalist Christian to be rocked by the Blind Boys of Alabama. All great music has a connection with the soul, and Sangsara is following in that tradition. And when these musicians turn to loss and the pain of earthly attachments, as they do on "The Saddest Love Song," they are making great rock 'n' roll.
Sangsara will be playing at Ypsilanti's Elbow Room which always gives me Toledo flashbacks on Saturday, March 19.
[Originally published in March, 2005.]