Review by Dawoud Kringle
Brooklyn’s Church of Betty, the brainchild of sitarist / guitarist Chris Rael, was, from its beginning, an interesting anomaly. Being a sitar player myself, I was intrigued by his concept. COB first hit the scene in 1998. An impressive list of musicians who performed and recorded with COB includes tabla master and Rael’s longtime collaborator, Deep Singh. Their live performances brought theatrics and dance to their live sound. Rael’s sitar style, far from orthodox classical raga, nonetheless used raga as a framework he built on a pop / rock / folk / psychedelic foundation.