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.
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
drum set has been replaced
by hand percussion.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.”
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.