Yemen Blues performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8. i i

Yemen Blues performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8. Ryan Muir for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Muir for NPR
Yemen Blues performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8.

Yemen Blues performs during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 8.

Ryan Muir for NPR

globalFEST

Yemen Blues 2012

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"Raw" and "rooty" are two good words for this young, wide-wandering band founded by the Yemeni Jewish singer Ravid Kalahani and Israeli bassist Omer Avital. At times, it evokes New Orleans second-line bands, the mesmerizing and earthy sounds of West African stringed guimbri, and rocking Middle Eastern rhythms, all of which course together in a raucous party of a stage show.

With Kalahani's soulful vocals alternating between the grit of the Mississippi Delta to the falsetto of Prince-style funk, Yemen Blues was one of the breakout favorites from this year's globalFEST lineup.

Set List
  • "Eli"
  • "Yemen Blues"
  • "Um Min Al Yaman"
  • "Trape La Verite"
  • "Jat Mahibathi"
  • "At Va'Ani"
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