By Andy J. Gordon
North Carolina based instrumental group Toubab Krewe brought their African influenced musical stylings to The Mint in Los Angeles on April 11, 2019. They are on a 22 date Spring 2019 tour and broke out a few new songs from 2018’s Stylo, their fourth studio release.
Justin Perkins amazed the crowd with his expertise on the Kora, Kamelngoni, guitar and percussion instruments. His mastery of the African stringed instruments was spectacular. Drew Heller’s guitar forays complemented Perkins nicely. Terrence Houston’s excellent drumming and Luke Quaranta’s rhythmic percussion work kept the audience moving. Dave Pransky was back with the group on bass for this tour after several years away from the band and did not miss a beat.
New songs “Stylo,” the title track from the new album, “That Damn Squash” and “Saba Meniya” all contained the genre busting style that Toubab Krewe is known for. With the African rhythms melded into rock, blues and jam beats, the band put on a stellar show.
Ben Spivak, best known for his bass playing and vocals with the pop-reggae band Magic! played before Toubab Krewe. Spivak brought out a super talented quartet that journeyed through some jam heavy, improvisational songs. Guitarists Yunus Iyriboz and Dan Kalisher took turns showing off their slide skills and dynamic playing abilities. Drummer Calvin Martin Jr. displayed his mad skills on the skins while Spivak sang and laid down a heavy beat.