I've got a short interview piece with Sidi Toure up now at Blurt, which turned out pretty well I think, given that it was done through email and a translator. Actually I was just thinking about Sidi Toure and wondering if he was doing okay, given the civil war in Gao these days....hope he's keeping his head down.
READY, SET, GAO! Sidi Touré
On his second American album the spiritually-minded African guitar maestro brings his Songhaï roots - and its culture of sharing - to the masses.
BY JENNIFER KELLY
"I always compare music to a married woman," says Malian guitarist Sidi Touré. "When she goes to the town hall she wears a veil, but if she wears twenty veils she's going to suffocate. Music has to breathe!"
That's one way of saying that latest album Koïma is more richly ornamented album than 2011's Sahel Folk (reviewed here), but only to a point. Where the U.S. debut was a series of voice and guitar duets, recorded casually at Touré's sister's home, Koïma brings in calabash, bass, multiple guitars and a back-up singer. It's a denser, more animated realization of Touré's Songhaï roots, a culture that he explains is centered around sharing - of food, of joy and, most of all, of music.