Toubab Krewe is back in business. In 2018, after a two-year hiatus, the Asheville, N.C.-based band is coming out with a new album titled Stylo (pronounced stee-lo, as in the French word for pen). The band, which we've featured on Afropop before, is made up of five American musicians who have extensively studied the music of West Africa, particularly the Mandé sounds of Guinea, Mali and Côte d'Ivoire. They mash up their experience with Malian guitar band stylings, djeli (griot) kora melodies and djembe rhythms with the music of their home turf: American blues, surf rock, Appalachian folk and jam band sensibilities. The Mandé kora, kamelengoni (a smaller cousin of the kora), djembe and karinyan metal scraper all hold important roles in the band's instrumentation, side by side with the distortion-drenched electric guitar and drum set.
Their previous album, TK2, was released a full seven years ago. Today we're bringing you a single off the forthcoming album. The track, called "That Damn Squash," merges their surf rock guitar twang with the sunny guitar vibe of Amadou and Mariam, then blends that up with some banjo, synths, spacy guitar and a driving djembe/drumset groove. Dig it:
The full album will be released on March 2, 2018--you can preorder Stylo on Pledge Music, where you can receive exclusive merchandise and from which a portion of the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Seed Programs International, which distributes seeds and other materials to farmers in developing countries. With every piece of pledge merchandise ordered, Toubab Krewe will include a seed packet and Seed Programs International will ship a package of seeds to a family or humanitarian organization in need. You can catch the band on tour in 2018 across the United States--see their website for details.