Arabicana Blues

No Blues

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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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.