Toubab Krewe’s one-of-a-kind, African-jam-rock amalgamation has earned gushing reviews in publications ranging from the New York Times to Paste magazine since this ensemble of Warren Wilson College alumni came on the scene five years ago.
Dedicated scholars of world music, the band has made numerous trips to Africa, studying under some of the continent’s biggest names in music to master instruments like the kora (a 21-string harp/lute) and the soku (a one-string fiddle).
These days, Toubab Krewe’s national and international popularity keeps them on the road most of the year, with slots at major festivals like Bonnaroo, Rothbury and Wakarusa, but they always find time to squeeze in a handful of local dates. The group headlined this year’s Bele Chere and appeared at Boone’s Music on the Mountaintop in August, where they were joined onstage by flatpicking legend Larry Keel.
TK2, the long-awaited follow-up to their critically acclaimed self-titled debut, was released earlier this month. “It’s been five years since our last studio album, and we’ve been doing almost nothing but playing together,” says guitarist Drew Heller on the band’s website. “We’ve had a lot of time to further our musical relationships. I feel like this album was recorded at a really perfect time.”
Xpress readers must agree — not only did they vote Toubab Best World/Reggae, but they sent the group to No. 1 status as Favorite Band.
— Dane Smith