In Memory of two gentle giants, Mandolin U.Shrinivas and Shawn Lane
I have been very blessed in life to meet some truly remarkable people, and some of them are musicians. Among those musicians, a select few have left this planet with a body of work that is so rich and deep that it requires a lot of time, attention, and dedication to fully appreciate their genius.
They were never pop stars or household names; they never had chart-topping hits or thousands of people in the audience. But when you cut through the hype – and see what is real – the joy and happiness in their music that awaits you can be infinite. You forget about all the bullshit that stands between us and pure music.
Among the ones who left us too soon are two very deep souls with whom I just happened to cross paths in life: guitarist Shawn Lane from Memphis, USA and mandolinist U. Shrinivas from Chennai, India. Two musicians who were born continents and cultures apart, grew up in different social circumstances, and under normal circumstances would have never met each other.
Until one miraculous day, the stars in the universe aligned and they connected. The meeting of these two happened only once that I know of, in California, with bassist Jonas Hellborg, percussion maestro Vikku Vinayakram together with his sons V. Selvaganesh and V.Umashankar,. I was handed a copy of the video by someone around mid 2000s, and I promised that I would never share it. In the 15 years that have passed, I have “lost” this DVD in my house more than a few times. This year I found it again, and I told myself that I would put it out in the public domain.
I reached out to Selvaganesh and told him about the DVD, and he wanted to see it. I tried to reach Hellborg, but could not. But deep in my heart, I do not think Jonas would mind. Shawn Lane left us in 2003, and U. Shrinivas in 2014. It would be a huge injustice to the world if people did not get to see this concert.
The video does not have the greatest sound or picture, but it’s the only visual proof that this special event happened. Share this with your close friends and like-minded people; and pass it on to younger generations. I hope you will remember these two wonderful musicians. Music is sacred for us, and Shawn Lane and U. Shrinivas were shining stars of our times.