Two Nights of Toubab Krewe Jan. 18th & Jan. 19th

The Orange Peel
Ashville, North Carolina

Words & Photos By Scott Shrader (J. Scott Shrader Photography)

There’s many ways to beat the cold weather during this time of year. Some would suggest two jackets or maybe even a thick pair of gloves. After a week of rainy cold weather and a sad excuse for a snowstorm, everyone seemed to be warming up at The Orange Peel for two nights with Asheville’s own Toubab Krewe. Last time Toubab made the rounds to their hometown they threw together a two-day mini festival called “Carnavalito” at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain. This time they brought the festivities indoor and brought along a couple of friends to join the party. Original drummer Teal Brown and former drummer Vic E Staff joined the band for the run. The combination of the double drum kit and Luke Quaranta’s percussion style added a different dynamic to the band’s overall sound.

Friday January 18th, 2013:

Friday night’s show started off with Dangermuffin; a three-piece outfit from Folly Beach, South Carolina. Their sound ranges from an Americana pop sound to the typical folky jam acoustic rock grooves. The crowd slowly filled in during their set and gave their support to the band. High praises were given once the band ripped through The Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower” and even with a lack of a bass, the cover was well executed. The trio delivered one more original that featured Luke from Toubab on percussion and then made way for the main act.

Toubab Krewe took the stage sometime after 10:00 PM to a very welcoming crowd. From fans, to family, to friends, it seemed obvious that this was a homecoming kind of show. Taking no time to find their groove the band kicked things off on an ambient slow jam that found its way into their signature world sound. The band addressed their excitement to be at The Orange Peel and played into the night, while delivering some new material to the crowd that seemed to go over well. One song was reminiscent of a carnival and was well received by the crowd. David Pransky (bass guitar/vocals) stepped up to the mic for a unique cover of “Raleigh & Spencer” that had a very different spin on it, much slower but again the crowd loved it. The crowd was spinning, dancing, and some almost religiously “getting down” to the sounds of Toubab Krewe, lucky for them, there was still one more night left.

Saturday January 19th, 2013:

The second night opened up with Adron; a group out of Atlanta,Georgia. Coming from the pop scene the four piece delivers a very unique sound that blends Classical with a Brazilian Tropicàlia acoustic influence. Adrienne McCann fronts the band and delivers a blues sounding and spine chilling vocal performance. Some compare her voice and songwriting to Joni Mitchell or Harry Nilsson. The group was well received and even more so when the band kicked into a Stevie Wonder song that showcased more of a jazz and funk approach to the music while still keeping their style intact. The crowd seemed to be a tad bigger from the previous night and the room definitely filled up by the end of Adron’s set.

Anticipation built during the set break and The Orange Peel seemed to be buzzing with music hungry fans. The band was greeted with a roar as they approached the stage for round two. Pransky greeted the crowd with a Hello and began to get down to business. Starting off on a faster pace than the previous night, the band seemed to be in high spirits. Justin Perkins shined on his signature kamelengoni all night and never missed a beat. All three drummers were on top of it and showcased a stellar drumming performance, as well. If there’s one member of the band that seemed be “in the zone” for both nights it was Drew Heller on guitar. Soaring through sections of songs with his eyes closed and a grin glued to his face, he never let up once and caught my attention the most. Perkins slid over to the keys for a few songs to make room for a couple guests who held down the horn section. I’ve always enjoyed hearing Toubab Krewe with guest musicians because the possibilities are endless when it comes to improv. The horns brought a new dynamic to the music. David stepped up to the mic to sing again for a Latin-influenced tune that strayed away from their signature sound but seemed to please the audience. The night rolled on and the music never reached a low point. Yet again, Toubab Krewe delivered a carnival-like experience to the town that helped them launch their career, and I don’t think it’s going to be the last one.

Scott's Friday Photo Gallery

Scott's Saturday Photo Gallery


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