Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lobi Traoré- Mali madness

Having Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn as a booster definitely helps but what makes Lobi Traoré special is his guitar picking- his playing is pure garage on his latest album, Lobi Traoré Group (Astralwerks, originally recorded in '02 and first released last year on Albarn's Honest Jon label).

His music is sometimes linked to blues and you can see the connection there- his gruff shout over the constantly unfurling guitar lines do trace a route to Chicago, even though the influence was originally the other way around (as Corey Harris and Johnny Copeland among others elegantly demonstrated). This can also be traced to his more famous countryman, the recently deceased Ali Fourka Toure (who also produced some of Traore's music).

While early albums had a folkie sound to them, Traoré's records have gradually picked up the pace/tempo so that now, he's got the full-throttle surf madness that he first admired in another stellar Malian guitarist, Zani Diabate.

For a good bio on Traore and to hear some of his early tune, see Calabash Music.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true about Lobi Traore. Very nice! Cory Countryman

10:11 PM  

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