Like Father Like Son: Arif Lohar

Harmonium

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Like father like son. Arif Lohar’s music, which we share tonight, is very much in the tradition of Punjabi folk singing which his father, Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab) Alam Lohar made famous a generation ago. Rustic, rural and often rousing this is music of the country fair (mela), the village wedding and the religious festival. Though in the latter case there is very little religious content in most of the songs. Essentially, this music is theatrical both stylistically and contextually. Much of it comes directly out of the rural, travelling music/drama nautanki shows that are popular across northern India.

Rather the songs, often duets between man and woman, are flirtatious, suggestive and combative. Instrumentation is very basic: drums, chimta (blacksmith’s tongs) and these days various electronic keyboards.

Arif Lohar, who tried his luck as a Punjabi movie actor, before scurrying back to the family trade of singing, has…

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