Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CD Review: Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan

Roots Travellers

The Rajasthani folk and dance troupe, Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, is an amazing group performing regional music from India's northwestern state. Roots Travellers follows the music of the gypsies and historical melodies from early castes. The troupe is led by Rahis Bharti. The folk music includes reggae-tinged rhythms on "Rajasthani Reggae" to Indian folk on "Shiv Ji" and Sufi-like music on "Maniara". The instrumental repertoire includes harmonium, tabla, dholak, Jew's harp, sarangi, and castanets. The vocals are never over-bearing or unnecessary. This is not necessarily a classical release, as the music tends to be reinvented and energetic enough for most tastes. Anyone with an interest in the melodies and rhythms of India, Pakistan, Central Asia, Gypsy, and Sufi music should acquire Roots Travellers as a perfect introduction to the music of Rajasthan. A special DVD is included. ~ Matthew Forss

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