Arts, Culture & Media

Della Mae Bluegrass in Pakistan

The members of the band Della Mae come from all over the United States: Vermont, South Carolina, Colorado, Wyoming and Washington State. And they are steeped in the Appalachian bluegrass tradition. You can't get much more American than that.

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Perhaps that's why the US State Department selected Della Mae to be America's cultural ambassadors to Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The band calls it their "'Stan Tour."

Members of the band spoke to The World's Aaron Schachter from the US Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, seven days into their six-week tour. They said their first show of the tour, in Islamabad, was particular memorable.

"When we showed up, after having only been in Pakistan for about four hours, we arrived to an audience of very excited and enthusiastic women who were yelling like we were the Rolling Stones."

That first concert, at Pakistan's oldest women's college, Fatima Jinnah University in Islamabad, set the tone for the first days of the tour. The group's high energy music was matched by a hectic schedule of appearances, including more concerts in Islamabad and in Pakistan's cultural capital Lahore before moving on to the remaining "Stans."