Vieux Farka Toure

Vieux Farka Touré (Mali)

Vieux Farka Touré (Mali)

One of the most influential guitarists from Africa, often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré and his live band will perform for the first time in Bucharest – June 1st at Control Club. Merging much-loved traditional Malian musical styles with distinct elements of blues, the composer is known for his high-profile collaborations with artists such as Khruangbin.

There’s a popular proverb in Mali that says life’s family name is change. It’s a dictum that Vieux Farka Touré, son of acclaimed musician Ali Farka Touré, has followed throughout his career over a series of adventurous cross-border explorations and collaborations. Yet there’s another more universal adage that says to know where you’re going, you must know where you’ve come from. It’s that essential human need to embrace one’s heritage that lies at the heart of Farka Touré’s latest album, Les Racines (World Circuit, 2022).
The title, which translates as ‘the roots’, says it all, for the album represents a deep reconnection with the traditional Songhai music of northern Mali, one of the northern West African musical traditions known in the West by the catch-all term ‘Desert Blues’. And Vieux’s roots run deeper than deep. The son of the late Ali Farka Touré, acclaimed as the finest guitarist Africa has ever produced, Vieux spent two years making Les Racines but the album had been gestating in his mind even longer. “I’ve had a desire to do a more traditional album for a long, long time. It’s important to me and to Malian people that we stay connected to our roots and our history,” Vieux explains.
Les Racines is Vieux’s sixth solo album in a recording career that began in 2006 and which has taken in audacious collaborations with the likes of Dave Matthews and jazz guitarist John Scofield, an album with the American singer-songwriter Julia Easterlin, as well as one with Houston-based trio Khruangbin.

“Exquisite return to the Malian source …a record that urgently puts Mali, a musical powerhouse, in the global spotlight. Outstanding.”The Guardian