Ya Dunya (Rounder Europe, 2007)
Dutch band No Blues impeccably weaves blues, American folk, jazz and Arabic music. The unusual and charming combination is the result of the collaboration of American, Middle Eastern and Dutch musicians. Together they practice a form of laid back music that sometimes sounds like blues, while other times it sounds like a modern world beat band.
The creative interaction between ‘ud and dobro is something not heard frequently, but the result is more than satisfying and makes you wish for more.
The group came together in 2004. Productiehuis ON in The Netherlands invited Ad van Meurs (guitar), Haytham Safia (‘ud, Arabic lute) and Anne-Maarten van Heuvelen (double bass) to investigate a possible combination of folk blues and traditional Arabic music. Both folk blues and the Arabic taqsim (the improvised interplay without a fixed rhythm) are exceptionally suited for storytelling; the former in a somewhat rawer way, the latter mostly lyrical and melodic.The musicians soon succeeded in finding the crossroads where folk blues and Arabic music meet.
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