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Rampant Balkaholism

Opa Groupa and Kef at Luckey's

There’s a rich supply of folk music out there, and it’s a vein that Opa Groupa isn’t afraid to tap. The band has formed its own brand of rhythmic, danceable world music. Take the Aladdin soundtrack, the Darjeeling Limited soundtrack, a sprinkling of Gypsy punk, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a dance party.

Forming a contemporary world-folk outfit is all about making something new without completely disgracing the traditions of old — Opa Groupa stays true to this formula, grabbing only tiny threads of modern-day edge — chunky upright bass, jam-band guitar solos, etc. — to throw into its tunes. And it seems the group is quite comfortable with its current identity, too; after all, each show has been a success, and there’s perhaps nothing more rewarding than making music that’s irresistibly danceable.

Eugene-based world group Kef has a similar draw to its style, although there’s probably a tiny part of every world-music critic that wants to denounce Opa Groupa in the face of Kef’s seemingly hardcore traditionalism.

At the end of the day, it’s that allure of music from afar that makes groups like Kef and Opa Groupa exciting. They’re unique, fun, and above all else, talented bands that know how to get a room hopping. Being self-proclaimed “Balkaholics” is probably tough work sometimes (at least as far as composition goes), but these guys are psyched on it, and we are, too. 

Opa Groupa and Kef play 10 pm Friday, Feb. 24, at Luckey’s; $5.