The Nikhil Korula Band seems to be stuck in a jam - they have been playing away at this song for over 6 minutes and show no signs of stopping. Each musician rocks to his own beat, deep in concentration, crafting soulful melodies that unfurl with the easy groove of improvisation. The next minute passes, and the next, and you realize you don't want it to end.
This is the sort of music you wish you knew about during the Dave Matthews craze a few years back, when the college-aged population embraced the band's blend of soul-rock-jazz as if they had never heard music before. These genres are surely at the core of The Nikhil Korula Band's tunes as well, but the buck doesn't stop there. NKB also draws on reggae, calypso, and African styles to round out a globe-spanning sound.
It's a shame the term "World Music" has acquired the same nose-wrinkling effect as "New Age" in social circles, because nothing better describes this band's widely influenced sound. Composing a soundtrack for the planet may sound ambitious, but this 7-piece group is more than talented enough for the task. Show-goers at the Viper Room July 29th sampled a sonic feast with more musical ingredients than a molé and twice the spice.
The band's Friday night set played for a packed house, with audience members of all ages crowding the club to listen. In concert, the band is a melting pot of instruments, styles, and dance moves; front man Nikhil knows how to cut a rug, and his unabashed glee spilled from the stage to the crowd halfway through their first song. The band's funky, danceable momentum and upbeat spirit may be best summed up in their song "Living," and the band's music as a whole might aptly be called life.
The Nikhil Korula Band performs a two-pronged feat: they make music for the world, and make world music for you and me. Catch the band's next show August 7th at the Santa Barbara Fiesta, 5:30 pm, and learn more about them at www.nikhilband.com. Some may call it surfer music - Nikhil calls it "soul groove," and it will make yours do just that.