Listen to the story.
ROLFSON: "Our first tour we left for Turkministan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgistan the same day that US troops marched into Baghdad. We were at the first Turkman Folk Festival. After the Turkman musicians came up on stage I looked over at Smokey and said this is the most fun I've ever had in my life."
Smokey is Jeff Mckeen, who does bear a resemblance to Smokey the forest fire bear. He says the band's mission is to dispel fears both abroad and when they get home.
SMOKEY: "When we tell 'em that we're going to Jordan or Uzbekistan. They think that we're gonna be in an unsafe situation or people are not gonna be receptive to us as Americans. I think people are people and on a personal level we don't have any problem."
KIDS: "We love American music. We listen to Britney Spears!"
When they open up for question from the crowd, the kids mostly ask why they play this kind of music and whether they're famous in America . And they get a request.
PROTSIK: "Would you like us to call a dance?"
Doug Protisk, one of the fiddlers, is happy to oblige.
PROTSIK: "We're going to do a tune called The Road to Boston and it's a very old tune and a very old dance."
There's an awkward moment. This dance would usually be done in a circle alternating boys and girls, but that's not considered appropriate here. They separate and make two half circles. Then they figure out to join one end together with a little boy. The final gap in the circle is finally mended when another fiddler from Old Grey Goose steps down from the stage to join in.
For The World this is Quil Lawrence in Rahat, Israel.