Some music cannot be found on a map or within iTunes categories. Some music is so original it seems snatched from the great, invisible substrata that runs below all human activity, a sound aching to be born without a flag or fixed allegiance – free, questing, overflowing with immediate, tangible life. This is the music of Toubab Krewe, the vibrant Asheville, NC-based instrumental powerhouse that creates a sonic Pangaea that lustily swirls together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, international folk strains and more. While nearly impossible to put into any box, it takes only a few moments to realize in a very palpable way that one is face-to-face with a true original who recognizes no borders in a march towards a muscular, original, globally switched-on sound. Toubab joined us for our 5GB series before the show.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
The first two gigs I ever remember attending (I’m not sure which was first) were a Doc Watson concert and a Ladysmith Black Mambazo show. Both were in Asheville, NC.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
It’s hard to choose just one. Our shows in New Orleans during this last NYE weekend were ridiculously fun. We had a great experience playing a gig in Haiti last year around this time and deeply enjoyed collaborating with some traditional singers and dancers. Our set at The Festival in the Desert in Essakane, Mali, was a dreamlike experience. Last month we played one of my favorite sets in a long time in Raleigh, NC, at the Lincoln Theatre. I can’t really narrow it down too easily.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
The late Vieux Kanté and his band performed in Bamako, Mali, at a place called Tutti Pizza. It was the first full length show of his I ever saw. It was truly mind-blowing. Here is a clip of Vieux playing a wedding in Bamako, Mali, West Africa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsVkRMJjFa8
What is the gig you would most like to play?
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Keith Frank (accordion), Zoumana Tereta (soku and vocals), Nahawa Doumbia (vocals), Rayna Gellert (fiddle), Bob Willoughby (piano), Terrence Houston (drumset), Sekou Kanté (electric bass), Lamine Soumano (kora), Adama Dramé (electric guitar), Weedie Braimah (percussion)
I would just like to be in the audience to witness this meeting of minds.
Catch Toubab Krewe Thursday, Jan. 17th at Terminal West