June 10, 2009

Vieux Farka Toure Brings Mali Mainstream(ish)

Continuing my remix-free run, here's a track from Vieux Farka Toure. I had never heard of this duder until seeing him on the lineup with Dirty Projectors at the Somerville Theater in Boston next week. Apparently he's a Malian musician, and then son of another famous Malian musician, Ali Farka Toure. Ali who was hailed as one of Africa's most important musicians (and #76 on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitar Players list) passed away in 2006. Vieux has been hailed as his heir, and has picked up where his father left off.

Ali's guitar work is phenomenal - check out "Penda Yoro" and "Njarou" below - and has a really distinctive feel. I love it. Love that I'm hearing it for the first time, too. I definitely feel like these are the kind of tracks that influenced Paul Simon's "Graceland" and some Talking Heads stuff, so it's cool to hear the originals rather than the once-removed tracks.

I really enjoy how Vieux has taken Ali's style and adapted it to his own without losing his father's flavor. Totally jealous of Ben, who I think is going to check out Vieux Farka Toure and Dirty Projectors on the 18th. Zack and I are seeing Passion Pit and the Harlem Shakes, which is not too shabby, but Vieux's show promises to be one worth watching.

Ali Farka Toure - Penda Yoro (YSI) (filesavr)

Ali Farka Toure - Njarou (YSI) (filesavr)

Vieux Farka Toure - Fafa (YSI) (filesavr)

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