Boubacar Traoré

Sa Golo

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A nice album from one of the original Malian bluesmen -- the great Boubacar Traoré (known originally on Radio Mali as Kar Kar). Originally, hits like "Mali Twist" made him famous in his homeland, though he disappeared for some time from the limelight, emerging after his wife's death to record albums like this one. The style is vaguely similar to other Malian bluesers such as Ali Farka Touré: a relatively stripped-down format with little to no accompaniment. The accompaniment on the album comes from a calabash (gourd used as percussion). The combination of his voice and tender picking style leads to a rather sentimental mood for a few of the works, and the faster ones have more of that reminiscent John Lee Hooker/Ali Farka Touré style. The main difference is in the vocal abilities -- Boubacar is actually singing, much more than the others; melody is important to the vocal section of the songs. For fans of African blues, this would be a definite pick. For newcomers, it might not be a bad introduction at all, though more of an easing in could perhaps be found in Taj Mahal's efforts with Toumani Diabate.

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