Leader of the world rhythms folk combo Sultans of String, Chris McKhool joins us on Episode 476 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the band’s forthcoming album “Refuge”, a project that is all about highlighting the extraordinary contributions that indigenous people, immigrants and refugees make to our culture and life, and showcases some of the amazing people who are sharing their musical gifts with us in Canada and the United States. It’s a very inspiring interview, and well worth checking out. We also include new music from Bobtown, Kristen Martell, Durham County Poets, Dayna Manning, Jason Wilson and Kyp Harness. Check out the full playlist below.
Sultans of String have just released the second single from their forthcoming album, “Refuge” which is due in the spring of 2020. “The Power of the Land” is a poem by Duke Redbird, now set to music by Sultans of String, with harmonies from indigenous husband and wife duo, Twin Flames. Refuge will feature some incredible musicians from the USA and Canada, many of whom arrived here as recent immigrants and refugees. According to Chris McKhool “The goal of the project is to highlight the extraordinary contributions of those that have arrived here from around the globe, as well as global talents that have been ambassadors for peace. Each one of us has a remarkable story to tell, and we are excited to share the beauty of these collaborations with you, featuring special guests from First Nations, Turkey, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Greece, Syria, Mexico, Portugal, Cuba, and Sudan.” The first single from Refuge, “I Am a Refugee” featured the powerful lyrics and spoken word vocal of Somali refugee poet and multimedia artist Ifrah Mansour. Chris McKhool, leader of Sultans of String joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new project and upcoming tour dates. Sultans of String will be playing a rare performance in their original trio formation, featuring Chris McKhool on fiddle, Kevin Laliberté on guitar and Drew Birston on bass, at the Fergus Grand Theatre (Fergus ON) on November 23. GET TICKETS. On November 28, Sultans of String head out on their 3rd annual Christmas Caravan tour, which this year will be visiting Alberta and Ontario. For more information and all tour dates, visit sultansofstring.com. Music: Sultans of String “I Am a Refugee” (feat. Ifrah Mansour) (single), “The Power of the Land” (feat. Duke Redbird & Twin Flames) (single) and “Himalayan Sleigh Ride” from “Christmas Caravan” (2017, Self).
The Sultans of String brilliantly blend together Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz musical influences to create a wonderfully rich cinematic sound that is almost intoxicating. The band is lead by 6-string violinist Chris McKhool who grew up in a Lebanese-Egyptian (Makhoul) family and guitarist Kevin Laliberté who write much of the material. Always pushing boundaries, their latest album “Symphony” (2013, Sony/Red) was recorded with a full orchestra while their new release, “Subcontinental Drift” (due in September) will feature sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid. Whether playing as a duo, five piece or with a full orchestra, their live show is something to behold – a fiery violin dances with a rumba-flamenco guitar while a bass lays down a funky unstoppable world rhythm groove that can’t help but bring a smile to your face as an irresistible urge forces you to get involved whether that is by clapping along or getting up to dance. They’re out on the festival circuit this summer including a visit to the Hillside Festival on July 26. We caught up with Chris McKhool at home in Toronto. For more information visit sultansofstring.com. Music: Sultans of String “Road to Kfarmishki”, “Josie” (excerpt), “Luna” (excerpt) and “Monti’s Revenge” (excerpt) from “Symphony” (2013, Sony/Red).