Friday, March 25, 2011
Dhoad, Gypsies of Rajasthan: Roots Travellers
From the largest state of India, Rajasthan, comes the performance troupe Dhoad, Gypsies of Rajashan, and their new CD Roots Travellers (World Village).
Under the artistic direction of Rahis Bharti, the group presents a program of very lively folk songs, featuring pulsating Indian percussion, harmonium, a bowed violin-like stringed instrument (sarangi?) and a group of male vocalists, some soloists, some joining in spiritedly in group vocal refrains. The music has the roots-level vibrancy of the earthier versions of devotional music of the region--bhajan and qawwali.
It's music of great beauty, spirit, and drive. Those who know the music of the Bauls of Bengal, Nusrat Khan, the Sabri Brothers, will find something not exactly similar but in the same stylistic lineage. As the title suggest, this is roots music, like bluegrass or delta blues in the US.
It never fails to lift my spirits, every time I listen. And the recording brings out the details in rather brilliant sound. Musical explorers should take note of this one.