Record Review: Vieux Farka Touré

Vieux Farka Touré
The Secret
Bamako, Mali

“World music that’s out of this World”

On his third studio album, Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré, often called “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” has built on the hybrid of American blues and traditional West African music popularized by his father, the late Ali Farka Touré. The Secret, which features the last collaboration between Vieux and Ali before the latter’s passing in 2006, is not simply a rehashing of the elder’s legacy.  It has a fresher, faster sound, undoubtedly aided by expert production and the accomplished special guests featured on the recordings.

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The album was produced by Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, who also played on the record and brought in accomplished guests like Derek Trucks, Ivan Neville, and John Scofield. Dave Matthews is also featured, trading vocals on “All the Same,” a song he co-wrote.  The 12 tracks of this guitar-driven album flow together like honey, with traditional West African instruments like the ngoni, a plucked lute, giving it that far away and exotic feel. Even those who shy away from so-called “world music” will likely appreciate this joyous, diverse, and upbeat collection. (Six Degrees Records)

Produced by Eric Krasno // Recorded at Bogolan Studio in Mali and at The Bunker in Brooklyn // Mixed by Mike Gibney // Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering, Inc.

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