Toubab Krewe first emerged in 2005, ablaze in deep percussive grooves that drew heavily from the musically rich region of Bamako in West Africa where the band had spent time studying the area’s traditional rhythms. Fusing the deep tribal cadence it studied there with the guitar-based rock of North Carolina, Toubab Krewe quickly established itself as one of the most refreshing sounds in years.
Straddling the great musical divide between West Africa and America with its genre defying sound, the question asked is: Where will Toubab Krewe go next? The answer to that question lays in “Buncombe to Badala,” the last track from Toubab’s stunningly intense new album, Live at the Orange Peel.
“Buncombe to Badala,” in both sound and in name, is the perfect representation of the band, and, more importantly, where they are going (Buncombe is a reference to the band’s home in North Carolina, Badala is the name of a region in Burkina Faso in West Africa). The song is the sound of a band evolving. While clearly pulling from their early, traditional West African folk influences, they have moved far beyond that sound. And “Buncombe to Badala” is an aggressive assault that combines the light-swinging-bounce of its African influence melding perfectly with guitarist Drew Heller’s surf-style guitar.
It’s no surprise that Toubab Krewe, known for its passionate live shows, has released a live document as its second album. Culled from a two-night run in its hometown of Asheville, NC, the release delivers eight new tracks that will serve as appetizer until the next studio album proper. Live at the Orange Peel is the sound of a band moving forward and embracing its guitar-driven roots; finding its own sound while maintaining its African soul.
Live at the Orange Peel is out now.