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Sultans of String, Subcontinental Drift (RED/Sony Records)




Sultans of String, Subcontinental Drift (RED/Sony Records)
CD Reviews: January 21, 2016

01/21/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 Their backs already straining under the weight of all the awards they’ve won, this world-music ensemble has finally gone supernova with the addition of sitar player Anwar Khurshid for this album. His instrument’s Indian/Middle Eastern sounds add the final missing ingredient to the band’s irresistible folk stew, starting with “Enter the Gate,” best described as a multiethnic Allman Brothers jam guested by Ravi Shankar and Roy Acuff, being that the sitar/fiddle battle between Khurshid and bandleader Chris McKhool is the song’s most striking feature. These pieces offer a different, timely brand of chill, with myriad styles being checked – Yiddish folk meets Dublin jig in “Rakes of Mallow,” a few examples of Bollywood-pop, a one-drop-leaning rub of “Blowin’ in the Wind” – the common thread being friendly, unhurried, sublime musicality. The most workaday track, “Ho Jamalo,” feels quite a bit like James Taylor in jam-out mode, but even that one has its own unique makeup. A great LP for world novices and wonks alike. A+ 






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