Begin at the end, so they say, and the end for Lobi came suddenly and out of the blue. He died in June at 49. Like Habib Koite is, Lobi was a people’s musician. Friendly and down to earth, Lobi was well known to hustlers and music fans alike in clubs like the Djembe in […]Read more "Lobi Traore – Rainy Season Blues"
Charlie GIllett scoops up yet again the tracks you loved but never got round to owning and those that would otherwise have entirely slipped past you unnoticed like so many logs floating down the Niger in the middle of the nightRead more "V/A – Sound of the World Presents: Otro Mundo (Another World)"
Network records have kept up the profoundly high level of quality control exhibited on the first two instalments of this exquisite seriesRead more "V/A – Desert Blues 3"
A few years ago a group of hoteliers got together in the pleasant but unremarkable stopover of Segou along the banks of the Niger river to work out how to get people to stay for a while in their town. Thus the Festival sur le Niger was born and this year it burst its banksRead more "Festival sur le Niger – Dancing through the Tears"
With a fresh take on his father’s trademark sound, Vieux is almost guaranteed to attract international audiences — even if only a handful of his compatriots have heard him play. We went to the Sahara to talk to himRead more "Vieux Farka Toure – Desert Blues 2.0"
Quite possibly the most difficult festival to get to on earth, certainly the most fun, The Festival in the Desert is held at Essakane every January. Head for Timbuktu and when you have reached the middle of nowhere, keep going for a few more hours of treacherous driving up and down sand dunes and you […]Read more "The Festival in the Desert 2007 – Essakane, Mali"
Welcome to Ali Farka time. Ali starts late and thanks the audience for their patience in French. At a beautifully languid pace he rolls his earthy sound into gear. His performance opens with a full band but his guitar, voice and the calabash dominate as on his recordingsRead more "Ali Farka Toure – Barbican ’05 Reviewed"