Blog March 23, 2022
Vieux Farka Touré Returns With New Single Featuring Amadou Bagayoko (of Amadou and Mariam)

Vieux Farka Touré has been called the “Hendrix of the Sahara,” and heir to his father Ali Farka Touré’s considerable legacy. He’s been doing his best to live up to both, with six albums since launching his recording career in 2006. The Malian artist has just put out the first single from his upcoming album, Les Racines, to be released June 10 on World Circuit Records.

The album’s title translates to “the roots” and after recording far from home, Vieux Farka Touré headed back to Mali to work on this one. You can hear the guitar playing off the spike lute ngoni. The drum set has been replaced by hand percussion. As American artists go to Woodstock to make their roots album; Touré left Woodstock for Bamako and his home studio. “Gabou Ni Tie” finds the guitarist back in the song structure of the Sahel, winding and unwinding his riffs against a tight harmonic structure, over a swaying Tuareg beat, with Amadou Bagayoko of Amadou and Mariam joining him on guitar.

“Returning to the roots of this music is a new departure for me and I’ve never spent so long or worked so hard on an album,” Vieux says. “I knew it had to be deep and durable and powerful and so I took a lot of time to reflect on how to do it and put it together.”

Thematically, “Gabou Ni Tie,” is right on board with the roots concept of the album, telling the story of a young girl straying from her family and her ancestral education, asking her to rejoin the fold. It’s interesting because Farka Touré famously defied his father to become a guitarist, but in doing so became even more like his father.

Mull that over while you preorder the album right here.


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