“Funky, Hard Hitting” Toubab Krewe’s Live Album

The Appalachian mountains may not seem a likely source of African-rooted music, but "funky, hard hitting" (Global Rhythm) Toubab Krewe, of Asheville, North Carolina, blends West African rhythms with rock, creating a sound all its own and earning a devoted following at performances from Bonnaroo to the legendary Festival of the Desert in Essakane, Mali.

What the Village Voice calls the "futuristic, psychedelic, neo-griot frenzy" of Toubab Krewe's shows has now been captured on their second album, 'Live at the Orange Peel' (Upstream Records, ADA Distribution 1/06/09).

The instrumental quintet's five members, childhood friends and long-term musical collaborators who joined up in 2005, have spent extended periods studying with musical luminaries in Mali, Ivory Coast, and Guinea and learning traditional instruments such as the kora (a 21-string harp) and the kamel ngoni (a lute). Their music also brings in the worlds of surf and zydeco in "a Dick Dale moves-to-Timbuktu experiment" (Boston Herald).

The new album, produced by Grammy winner Steven Heller and recorded in the group's hometown December 30-31, 2007, features eight previously unreleased tracks, including collaborations with legendary spoken-word artist Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets and fiddler Rayna Gellert.

Toubab Krewe's tour begins in Denver, Colorado December 30th; the record release show will be at New York's S.O.B.'s on January 8th. It's not quite as extensive as Toubab Krewe's journey from Buncombe (Asheville's county) to Mali's Badala (the subject of the first video from the release), but there'll be just as many opportunities for frenzied dancing.

Toubab Krewe is:
Teal Brown – Drums
Drew Heller – Guitar
Justin Perkins – Kamel Ngoni, Kora, Guitar
David Pransky – Bass
Luke Quaranta - Percussion

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