Get ready to swing, Lloyd

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November 17, 2016 12:00 AM

CHECK OUT GUITAR GEORGE The Sultans of String will be strumming, plucking and picking its way through a set of Christmas classics revamped with world music rhythms next Tuesday at the Vic Juba Community Theatre as part of the Lloydminster Concert Series.

The Sultans of String is swinging into the Border City next week, bringing a set of Christmas tunes coloured with world music inflections the band said fans are sure to find familiar yet fresh.
The group’s hitting the stage at the Vic Juba Community Theatre on Nov. 22 as part of the Lloydminster Concert Series, with a song list of reimagined classics like an Arabic/Turkish rift on Greensleeves, a djembe drum-heavy version of Little Drummer Boy and a ska-style take on Jose Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad.
“We’re doing kind of a world music treatment of Christmas favourites; we’re really excited about it because we took some of our very favourite songs and put the world music rhythms we love playing into those songs,” said band leader and violinist Chris McKhool.
“There’s something pretty magical and archetypal about so many of those songs and I thought it would be a good opportunity to put a true Canadian spin on some of them as well as well, bring the multi-cultural musical mosaic of Canada to some of those songs as well as write some new verses here and there.”
The Sultans of String also features a band of seasoned players with the likes of guitarist Kevin Laliberté, who’s toured the world with neuvo flamenco aficionado Jesse Cook; bassist Drew Birston, who’s held down the low end for acts like pop star Chantal Kreviazuk, and percussionist Eric Breton, who McKhool said can lay a beat on any drum-like instrument within striking distance.
With such a talented line-up, it’s no wonder the Sultans have released albums that hit number one across Canada on Top 10 national radio charts and received accolades like two Juno nominations, two Canadian Folk Music Awards and a first place win in the International Songwriting Competition.
Next Tuesday, Lloydminster residents get to see what all the hype’s about when the group brings its Christmas show to town, and the live show is what McKhool said the band is all about.
“They’re (live shows) pretty exciting for us because we get to present all these different styles and songs to an audience and actually feel their reaction, which is the greatest part of being a musician, the feedback you get from the audience,” he said.
“So we love having the audience clap along and sing along, it almost becomes part of the show, and we’re going to take our audience on a tour of all these different songs and hymns of the world and get to show off a bit on our instruments and have a great time.”

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