“A futuristic, psychedelic, neo-griot frenzy,” raved the Village Voice

WEB-ToubabKrewe-RockyMtnHighToubab Krewe is five guys, based out of Asheville, North Carolina, who effortlessly blend American rock and West African music into a style all their own, described by one critic as having a “visceral, ear-yanking quality” that might “find your definitions of what is/is not rock n’ roll and world beat being completely rewritten.”

Since forming in 2005, the magnetic instrumental quintet has won a diverse and devoted following at performances everywhere from Bonnaroo to the legendary Festival of the Desert in Essakane, Mali, the most remote festival in the world. The band developed their unique sound over the course of numerous extended trips to Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, where they immersed themselves in the local culture and studied and performed with luminaries.

But the group has its roots in Asheville, NC, where many of its members were childhood friends and long-term musical collaborators. It was at home in the Appalachians, where the band recorded their sophomore album, Live at the Orange Peel.

Produced by Grammy winning producer Steven Heller (who also produced the band’s debut), the new album captures their outstanding 2007-2008 New Year’s run. All  the tracks are previously unreleased and continue to mix American rock with the West African musical traditions the band fell in love with on their travels.

Toubab Krewe is:

Teal Brown – Drum set
Drew Heller – Electric guitar, soku (a one-stringed West African fiddle-like instrument)
Justin Perkins – Kora, camelengoni (a lute with 6 or 12 strings, similar to the kora), electric guitar
David Pransky – Electric bass
Luke Quaranta – Percussion (including djembe and other African percussive instruments)

Put them all together and you get an all-instrumental blend of a little bit of Electric West African music (think King Sunny Ade, with his high life and juju sounds); a little bit of traditional acoustic kora music (think Mamadou or Toumani Diabate); a hefty dose of American surf-rock (a la Duane Eddy or Dick Dale); and few other random influences that appear when the mood strikes.

Show up at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon to understand.

Denise Mongen presents Toubab Krewe on Saturday, March 30. Doors at 9:00 p.m.; show time at 9:30. (There is no opening act.)

For a preview, watch this video of the group in performance.

For tickets, $15, go here, and at Wizard Entertainment, 126 E. Colorado Avenue, (970) 728-4924.

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