On the north tip of Israel's Negev desert, the Bedouin city of Rahat has only one large modern looking building - the community center. They recently hosted some traveling musicians from far, far away.
Old Grey Goose InternationalOld Grey Goose International
On the bones there is Jeff McKeen, He also plays accordion, guitar and mandolin. The band is Old Grey Goose, from the woods of central Maine . In 2003 they became Old Grey Goose International when they started travelling the world for the US state department as cultural ambassadors. They've been to Poland, Central Asia, Africa, and now to Israel and Jordan .
The teenage girls and boys from Rahat start clapping along right away though it's a fair bet they've never heard any of the songs.
A song about a crew of whalers heading out to Greenland doesn't really resonate with desert Arabs. But when some of the themes are translated they strike a chord like a captain who cares more about money than the lives of his crew, or the poor boy in love with a rich girl, or the prisoner waiting for the midnight special. Mostly though, it's just fun music.
Eric Rolfson plays mandolin and guitar. His son Matt plays bass. He considers the band an opportunity to promote global understanding.