Born Andy Desmond and known as the mononym Miten since the early 80s, the British-born singer/songwriter was a stalwart of his native country’s rock and folk scene during the late 60s and throughout the 1970s both as a founding member of folk/rock duo Gothic Horizon with collaborator Richard Garett and as solo artist. Although as a member of Gothic Horizon, Miten recorded and released two albums, 1971’s The Jason Lodge Poetry Book and 1972’s Tomorrow Never Knows, Miten was best known for being part of a folk scene that included British singer/songwriters Tom Robinson, Claire Hamill and Cafe Society, all of whom were signed to Ray Davies‘ Konk Records. 1974’s Living On A Shoestring, which featured collaborations with members of The Kinks and was co-produced by The Kinks’ Dave Davies and John Gosling.
By the time Miten — nee Desmond — had released his sophomore solo effort, 1976’s self-titled effort, the British-born singer/songwriter had a rapidly growing national profile; in fact, he had opened for the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Randy Newman, Hall and Oates, The Cate Brothers, The Kinks, Ry Cooder. However, by the late 1970s/early 1980s Miten had increasingly became disillusioned with the rock world and his destructive lifestyle, and began to explore meditation and Eastern philosophy. In 1980, the British-born singer/songwriter was initiated into sannyas by controversial Indian mystery Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and was given the Sanskrit name Prabhu Miten, meaning “Friend of God.” Spending several years in Rajneesh’s ashram in Pune, India, where he had written and produced In Wonder, a tribute album to his guru and spiritual guide, Miten hooked up with producer and frequent collaborator John Leckie, who was then known as Nagara and later his musical and life partner Deva Premal, who write, record and tour as Deva Primal and Miten.
Deva Premal and Miten are best known in alternative spirituality and yoga scenes and have developed a reputation for material comprised of chanted Sanskrit mantra and for Miten’s spiritually inspired songs; in fact, in that world they’re considered to be much like the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash of the genre, and through the release of over a dozen albums have had Cher and the Dalai Lama praise their work and have collaborated with the likes of Anthony Roberts, Eckhart Tolle and Cher, who covered the duo’s version of the ancient prayer The Gayatri Mantra during her 2002 Farewell Tour.
Miten’s recently released Temple At Midnight is his first solo English language work in over a decade and in many ways the album finds him returning to his musical roots while writing deeply personal material inspired and influenced by his own journey to renewal, faith and love. And interestingly, the album’s latest single is an elegantly simple cover of The Beatles‘ “Norwegian Wood” in which Miten’s soulful and wizened vocals are paired with a sparse arrangement that has Miten accompanying himself with guitar, a bit of piano here and there, a mournful string arrangement and some backing vocals from his partner and collaborator Deva Premal. And while radiating a quiet assuredness and tranquility, Miten’s cover also possesses the same wistfulness of the original.