That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it…

The Tuaregs consist of a variety of tribes, stretching across the center of the Saharan desert, East of Mauritania, across Mali, Algeria, Niger, Libya. In the past, the Western association was with "blue men" in the desert, the fierce resistance to colonization, the romantic myth of the desert nomad. Today…

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Sonrai sound

En route to Timbouctou, I stop over in Goundam, a nondescript village of the Niger Delta. As I travel with guitar, a young man stops me and asks if he can have a look in the case. "Moi, aussi, je suis un artiste..." His name is Babah Dire (from the…

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Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Griots.

While Tuareg rock (Desert Blues, i.e. Tinariwen) is the most known form of Tamashek music abroad, traditional guitar still has a strong place in the North. The traditional guitar is found throughout West Africa, for Peuls, Sonrai, Maures, Tuareg, Sarakoles - respectively named Hodou, Koubour, Tidinit, Teherdent or Hardine (and…

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Sing me a song!

Girl by the rice paddiesA French songGirl by the market with Amadou and Mariam's Homage to Ali Farka ToureGirl in Niafounke tries to remember the wordsGirl with mother singing Na Hawa DoumbiaHamadou Traore singing song from the Bi-annal, National Orchestra of TimbouctouKids with the Mali National Anthem (sort of French)Mamadou…

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Orchestre Dental, the music video

Orchestre Dental from Nouakchott is one of the most interesting bands I've had the chance to record and definitely the most unique. The music is distinctly modern, but incorporating a broad range of influences from the traditional scales of the Sahara (Moor, Peul, Soninke) to the imported sounds of their…

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Gnawa, across the desert

They said 'we behold you as one diligent in your pursuit of much journeying,On the earth. For a while you stay, and then you journey on your way.'I said, 'Were there no benefit to be gained in travelling,The sun would not change its stations in its heavenly mansions.'- Al-Tadili recording…

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