In Ecstasy: Balwinder Mast

Sassi and Punnu

Sassi and Punnu, eternal lovers of Punjab

Balwinder Mast is a folk singer from Punjab.  He sings with nothing but gusto and heart, sometimes accompanying himself on the tumbi and harmonium.  His subject matter covers the range of the folk landscape, from the praise songs of Sufi saints to interpretations of the great lovers’ tales, such as Sassi Pannu.  His live shows are very lively.

This fine selection of his songs was released by De Kulture, one of India’s premier folk music labels.

B Mast

Track Listing:

01 Bodhi Wala

02 Kad Kaleja Lein Gayi

03 Mera Sir Teri Talwar

04 Sassi Di Ma

05 Mahiya De Tappe


4 thoughts on “In Ecstasy: Balwinder Mast

  1. Oooh I love that Sassi Punnu pic, here’s an artist I have never even heard of, very excited to listen to his renditions of the folk. I particularly look forward to the Tappe I have not yet come across one of those that I have not fell in love with, I guess they can be considered loosely related couplets? Bollywood has borrowed heavily from classic Punjabi Tappe couplets. I have always loved your eclectic taste. Thanks.

  2. I wish I had a precise definition for you, from what I’ve gathered they are similar to Boliyan. Both forms of Punjabi folks songs are precursors to modern Bhangra and are not really a complete song but rather a string of couplets (could also be 3, 4 or 5 liners) that may or may not be related to each other. Boliyan can be about any topic in the world. Tappe seem to be more focused on the expression of love, often taking a teasing tone with a back and forth battle of wits between men and women. Both are often sung during the rituals leading up to a Punjabi wedding. Many non-Punjabis may have heard Tappe for the first time via Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh. I was pleased to find a video of it as I’ve never watched them perform it live in concert before. A more recent interpretation by Gurdas Maan was in the film Uff Yeh Mohabbat. Hopefully someone has a more precise definition.

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