6:00 AM GMT 22/06/2011
(World Circuit, 1989)
One man from Mali and his acoustic guitar strike a universal chord.
Touré’s “white album”, his first for World Circuit, was the Malian’s introduction to many in “the west” (ie. north). Influenced by John Lee Hooker – himself the inheritor of an ancestral West African music tradition – it wallows in the joys of repetition, with Touré pedalling groovily lurching guitar riffs until you’re in a kind of blissful fugue state. “Oneness” abounds; there’s a one-note twang frenzy a minute into Timbarma that makes you think of John Fogerty at his most intense, and the frequency his worn and rusty larynx hits and sustains early in Singya feels like a conduit to the ineffable. Put off by the “World Music” tag? Fear not. There’s nothing alien about this, just passionate and catchily melodic folk music – simultaneously carrying on a conversation with Bert Jansch and Robert Johnson – by a musician who was inspired but never constrained by his culture of origin, whatever you argue that to be. Touré, whose nickname “Farka” means “donkey” and who exhibited plenty of that animal’s fabled stubbornness – passed away in 2006, at the age of 66.
Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 6:00 AM GMT 22/01/2008
Ali Farka Touré – Red & Green (Nonesuch)
John Lee Hooker – I’m John Lee Hooker (Shout Factory)
Bert Jansch – Bert Jansch (Castle)