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The Bengali Bauls: Bengali Bauls at Big Pink

cover art

[LP cover]

The Bauls of Bengali were a family of itinerant street troubadours that Albert Grossman had met on a visit to India, and he invited them to stay in a converted barn in Bearsville in 1967. The brothers Luxman and Purna Das (that also can be seen posing with Bob Dylan on his John Wesley Harding album) became friends with the Band in Woodstock, and often visited them in Big Pink to inhale illegal substances and jam with the guys. One night, the Bauls wanted to jam, and Garth Hudson wanted to record, with Rick Danko and Levon sitting in with the Das brothers. The music was a bit too weird for the guys from the Band ("they were wailing in their own language, in their own world, Bubba"), so they left while Garth's tape machine rolled for hours. The tapes were released, years after, as Bengali Bauls at Big Pink.
-- extracted from Levon Helm's This Wheel's on Fire

[Dylan and the Bauls]
Luxman Das, Bob Dylan and Purna Das, on the cover of John Wesley Harding, 1967
Band guys can be heard saying "that's nice" after one track, they don't actually play. The album is produced by Garth Hudson. It was recorded in the basement of Big Pink on an Ampex 400 tape recorder using two Altec Lansing 1567A mixers with Norelco D-24 microphones. Engineered at A&R Studios, New York, by John Kryda. Purna Das of the Bauls also appears on Garth Hudson's 2001 solo album The Sea to the North.

In the Bob Dylan magazine The Telegraph, issue 51, there was an article on the John Wesley Harding LP cover with some info on the Bauls of Bengal. Below are a four-part scan of this article, that also mentions The Band's, and in particular Garth Hudson's, relationship with the Bangali Bauls:


Side 1

  1. Alone, I Have Caught A Fish, sung by Sudhananda Das
  2. Praise My Beautiful Birthland, sung by Sudhananda Das
  3. With What Flower Shall I Worship Your Feet, sung by Luxman Das

Side 2

  1. My Boatman Friend, sung by Hare Krishna Das
  2. Say Hari, Mynah Bird, sung by Puma Das


  • Purna Das: vocals , khrmack, kartaijulie
  • Luxman Das: vocals, khrmack
  • Hare Krishna Das: vocals, dotara
  • Suohananda Das: vocals, harmon/urn, kartaijulie
  • Jiban Das: vocals, tabla
  • Garth Hudson: engineer/ producer
  • The Band

The Bengali Bauls - Bengali Bauls at Big Pink - 1968 - Buddah BDS 5050 (a subsidiary of Viewlex, Inc.)
Single sleeve LP with "Join the Buddha Club" inner cover

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