Toubab Krewe 2006-02-03 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC (Download)
I have a great love of African rhythms and it was only a matter of time before that manifested itself here. Africa is quite possibly the cradle of mankind, but it is certainly the origin of almost every type of music that I currently enjoy. I'm no expert on the subject and I am aware that human music has many ancient origins...but long before Europeans were rigidly dancing to dulcimers and such Africa was alive with the sounds of drums, claps, stomps, and voices, and these are the sounds which most closely form the base of almost all of the live music featured on this site. People often discuss Congo Square, but fewer look very closely at where the influences that made that place special actually came from.
Beautiful things usually occur when two or more distinct strains of music are melded together well, and this is showcased magnificently by Toubab Krewe. "Toubab" is a word used in a number of African languages to define a foreigner, and it's a fitting self-description for the Asheville, NC based act which specializes in a blend of afrobeat and southern influenced rock. The band has played major festivals throughout the country and the world, including the Festival of the Desert in Mali.
And speaking of Congo Square...
(jambands.com's Randy Ray interviews Toubab Krewe member Justin Perkins)
RR: I know that word ‘Krewe’ is an ambiguous nod to the city of New Orleans. How important is New Orleans to the Toubab Krewe sound?
JP: It’s extremely important. The history and culture of New Orleans is the thickest and richest in this country. New Orleans was such a huge portal to so much music that came into this country—whether it be music, people or food, it is such a rich place and it’s a shame to know the situation of that place, right now.
This Toubab Krewe show comes to us from the band's virtual hometown of Charlotte, NC. The band consistently works in the influences of West African sounds as well as rock, jazz, and even a tinge of surf. The stage is definitely front and center in this recording, there's not much crowd noise except at the end of songs. At various times during this show I find myself thinking I'm listening to anyone from Tom Petty to String Cheese Incident to Fela Kuti. That's a pretty unique listening experience, and it's just a powerful performance from start to finish. The full set list:
Hang Tan, Diggi, Malawi, Sonrai>Autorail, Djarabi, Bani, Lamines, Mali Sadjo, Zaouli, Touromaka, Wassoulou/Bani, Rooster, Roy Forrestor, Buncombe to Badala, Asheville to Abdijan, Bamana Niya, Chasse, Moose
Sound quality is an A, it's a soundboard recording and it shows. Taped and transferred by Jah of Jah Jam Productions, so praise be to you! Photo credit is to the band's MySpace page and Flickr. Justin of Toubab Krewe is also featured on the Matisyahu show I reviewed a bit ago.