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Roots Travellers (Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan)

Cd/Dvd Reviews - World


Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan
World Village WV450014

by Michael Rofe on March 29, 2011 (March 29, 2011) filed under World | Comment Now
Rollicking Rajasthani hits: traditional tunes from the Dhoad Gypsies.

The energy emanating from this exciting disc and accompanying DVD of Indian traditional music is almost palpable. In concert, the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan dance, contort and breathe fire, as well as singing traditional folk songs from the deserts and light classical songs from North India. Led by tabla player Rahis Bharti, the group is formed around a pulsating percussion base, with morsing (jew’s harp), dholak (drum), kartal (wooden clappers) and several tablas.

Over this weaves the bowed, cello-like sarangi and the harmonium, introduced to India by French missionaries in the mid 19th-century. With several vocalists, their music is part of the lineage which includes the Sufi qawwali devotional singers such as the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

The wedding song Banno excites with its pounding drumbeat; the tongue-in-cheek Rajasthani Reggae is an invitation to love sung over a loping tabla rhythm. Vocalist Sanjay Khan hauntingly sings of the Wind of Love over bowed sarangi strings before the short frenzied dancing finale of Horse Chale Rhythm. Like the musicians of The Manganiyar Seduction, the Dhoad Gypsies from Rajasthan keep alive a vibrant musical tradition.