Toubab Krewe hopes to deliver solid performance at Legends

Ryan Morris

On Halloween, Legends will host the culturally diverse musical stylings of the Toubab Krewe. The band hopes to bring a passionate and electric performance to all attendees. The Appalachian recently caught up with Luke Quaranta, a member of Toubab Krewe.

The Appalachian: Your music is a little more different than the run of the mill acts that usually come to App. What should the attendees expect from one of your shows?
Luke Quaranta: “They can expect dance music that is rooted in traditional music from all over the world. One moment they will be moving to music inspired by the great traditions of West Africa, and the next be raging to Appalachian folk music played with a rock and roll edge.”

TA: How far along on the tour are you guys? How much longer will you be playing?
LQ: “We are playing three nights in New Orleans this weekend and then making our way to Boone for Halloween night. This tour is only about 2 1/2 weeks, and then we will go out for another 2 weeks later in the month. 2012 has been a bit of a lighter year for us as we have been touring relentlessly since 2005. We have taken a little more time off the road this year, and spent a bit more time at home and in the studio.”

TA: What should people expect from you in the near future?
LQ: “Folks can expect some new music from us in 2013, and a bit more touring. We are playing two nights at the Orange Peel in Asheville early in the year, January 18/19…and then we will tour Hawaii, the west coast, and Colorado/Mountain Region for the end of ski season.”

TA: Seeing as you guys are relatively geographically within the same sphere as Boone, have any traditional sounds of the mountains rubbed off on you over the years?
LQ: “Absolutely…two of our founding members were born and raised in [Western North Carolina]. And two more of us have spent much of the last decade in the area. We have developed quite a bit of our repertoire in the Appalachian tradition. Songs like Cluck Old Hen, Raleigh & Spencer, John Hardy, and In the Pines are all regulars in our sets. It is very cool to be playing this music incorporating traditional West African instrumentation. It feels very natural, and ultimately connects the dots of evolution of the music.”

TA: Are you doing anything special for Halloween? Like dressing up, or throwing candy out, or (hopefully not) have a fountain squirt fake blood at people?
LQ: “We’ll see…we have done some really cool themes for past Halloweens. Hopefully we will come up with something…”

TA: This question might come off as mean, but it is intended to be a platform upon where you guys brag about yourself. Why should people care about Toubab Krewe? What is different or special enough about you guys?
LQ: “We are a very unique band…our approach to music, our instrumentation, and our blend of traditional musics all set us apart. We play very freely and every concert is one of a kind. We have a real affinity for roots music and traditional music. I believe a lot of the music we play has a life of its own, and it has evolved over decades and in many cases centuries. There is a real spiritual element to playing this music, and it is a raging party at the same time.”

Toubab Krewe will be performing at Legends on Oct. 31 at 9:00 p.m. Tickets will be $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Story: WILL GREENE, A&E Reporter