Church of Betty

Click to hear: FLOWERS PUSHING UP (from Tripping with Wanda)

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The brainchild of singer/composer/sitarist and Fang founder Chris Rael, Church of Betty broke new ground in world music while energizing independent music in New York for 20 years. After a decade-long hiatus, the group is back in 2015 with eclectic innovative CD Swirled World, featuring Downtown guitar legend Chris Cochrane, drummer Brian Geltner, violinist Rima Fand, violist Pinky Weitzman, bassoonist Claire de Brunner, and special guests. The early ’90s lineup featured de Brunner, Ed Pastorini of 101 Crustaceans, bassist Cindy Rickmond, and the late Jan Kotik, original drummer of the Mommyheads. From ’97 to ’03, the group included tabla master Deep Singh, drummer Jon Feinberg, bassist Joe Quigley, guitarist/percussionist Marlon Cherry, and violinists Gregor Kitzis and Rima Fand. The group produced eight albums on Fang, only one of which is currently in print (Tripping with Wanda). Also available on this page is Tunnel Ragas, Rael and Singh’s stunningly beautiful and unique instrumental duet album. Church of Betty was part of the first wave of progressive acts through the original Knitting Factory, and later became a regular favorite at Greenwich Village’s legendary Bottom Line. The group has performed at Prospect Park, Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, various museums, cultural institutions and night clubs in New York, the Secession Building in Vienna, the National Mall in Washington DC, the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and toured regionally in Canada and Europe, with numerous appearances on National Public Radio. Critically acclaimed, the group has been called “irresistible” by the New York Times, “brilliant” by Billboard, and “musical and cultural fusion of the first order” by the Boston Herald. “Church of Betty mixes Indian and Western music into a spicy, always surprising blend that sounds like neither style alone but expands the boundaries of both,” wrote OffOffOff.com. The group “squeezes the expansive soul of raga into the tight curves of rock, to create a complex and surprisingly harmonious hybrid,” wrote ThinkIndia.com. According to the All Music Guide: “Tripping with Wanda conjures and cleanses, swoons and seduces. If otherworldly rock exists, surely this is as lofty as it gets. A rich, brimming, brilliant record… Tunnel Ragas is at once pure, devotional, improvisational and profanely urban, a fascinating listen.”

To purchase a CD by Church of Betty, click the Add to Cart button and it will be added to your shopping cart on the right.

Swirled World CD

Swirled World CD (2015) $12.00

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Tripping with Wanda CD

Tripping with Wanda CD (2002) $13.00

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Tunnel Ragas CD

Tunnel Ragas CD (2000) $13.00

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Lazarus Rose CD

Lazarus Rose CD (2013) $10.00

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Contact: rael@fangrecords.com

www.myspace.com/churchofbetty

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