Sultans of String (from the album Subcontinental Drift) - Sultans of String offer ragas, reels, and rhumbas in a joyful celebration of song as Subcontinental Drift. The Canadian-based band brings in sitar master Anwar Kurshid, creating a bridge for world rhythms to cross freely. The Sultans Chris McKhool (bandleader/violinist) felt that ‘there is something magical about joining the world music rhythms we play, but with pop sensibilities and forms and lengths, and blending that with the music of the East’. The music of Sultans of String is a melting pot of cultures, and within the space of a song melodies shift and re-form ranging from the soft rhythms that cradle the man looking for “A Place to Call Home”, gentle sighs over bubbling notes with “Parchan Shaal Panhwar”, creating a trance calling “Ho Jamalo”, and merging airy Celtic tones over Indian percussion with “Rakes Of Mallow - Rouge River Valley”.
When Chris heard the rumba rhythms in the guitar work of Kevin Laliberté, the Sultans of String were born. Traveling as a duo and band, the group has garnered Juno nominations and Canadian Folk awards with Chris McKhool receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in creating community through music. Subcontinental Drift opens its doors with a first track welcome of “Enter the Gate” as the notes slowly rise and blend, as the album re-envisions Bob Dylan’s “Blowin' In The Wind”, and travels on a cut from the pens of both Sultans of String and guest Anwar Kurshid with “Journey to Freedom”, the story telling of the sitar player’s trip from Pakistan to a new home in Canada.