Toubab Krewe - Live at the Orange Peel
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Toubab Krewe
Live at the Orange Peel
(Upstream)

One of a rising tide of young Anglo musicians playing African music, North Carolina-based Toubab Krewe edges the music toward a rock sound. Though they play several African instruments, such as the kora and the ngoni, the result is still music that sounds like it would be at home at a jam band festival. This live album, in fact, finds them playing in front of an appreciative audience that is undoubtedly up and moving to the danceable guitar-driven grooves.

Most of the songs are updated versions of traditional tunes and generally the album traffics in upbeat, densely percussive songs with muscular beats and a rough sound. Two songs feature spoken word monologues and while they may have been interesting to a live audience ready for a break from frenetic dancing, the lengthy ramblings quickly become tedious on repeated listening and warrant a quick trip to the fast-forward button.

Toubab Krewe, as American exponents of "foreign" music delivered to a domestic audience, successfully find the common ground - that ground being the dancefloor - between African and western music, and make the music exciting for audiences not ordinarily immersed in African music. - Marty Lipp

Hear music at the band's web site: www.toubabkrewe.com
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