Ali Farka Toure – A perfect blend of blues and griot

You need to be a bit of a depressive to enjoy blues music, it’s often so unapologetically bleak.  “There’s nothing left to believe in” sings Maurice John Vaughan, and you know he means it, especially since a computer stole his job and he saw his wife making love to the garbage man.

And then there’s African music, the griot tradition, the wonderful melodic oral stories from West Africa, Mory Kante, Youssou N-Dour, Salif Keita, Baaba Maal.

Blending the two traditions is Ali Farka Toure, who’s music was banned when Mali was invaded.  Let’s face it, you know you’re doing something right if your art is so dangerous it has to be banned.  Fortunately human beings will always find ways around these things and thanks to YouTube we get to experience the kind of music that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.    His song Ai Du is so sexy it’s been used as the soundtrack in several movies, Unfaithful and L’Auberge Espagnole being just two.

Listen and weep.



South African writer, crafter and all round animal lover
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