By Pat Moran
on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 8:52 AM
TOUBAB KREWE When Ry Cooder jammed with Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré in 1995, Western musicians woke up to the rich musical legacy of West Africa. Actually, the West African connection was there all along, since American blues is largely derived from the tribal music of Mali. In turn, West African musicians responded in the 1960's to the influence of western bluesmen like John Lee Hooker, and so on. It's been a trans-Atlantic ping pong game of musical influences for generations now, and Asheville's Toubab Krewe are merely the latest volley. TK band members caught the West African music bug in the late 1990's, trekking to Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Mali to study and live with master musicians. Such deep wood-shedding pays off in Toubab Krewe's energetic percussive grooves and founder Justin Perkins' mastery of the kora, a 21-string Malian harp-cum-lute. But the Krewe flip the script, adding a mix of zydeco, N'Awlins R&B and Southern-fried rock 'n' roll to the African stew, then top it off with Arabic surf guitar scales by way of Dick Dale. It should all be a mess, but Toubab Krewe's exotic electro world-funk reaches giddy psychedelic heights. Toubab Krewe may wander all over the map, but they always know where they're going. With John Brown's Body. $15-$17. Nov. 27, 8 p.m. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 704-358-9200.