Ali Farka Toure

Ali Farka Toure

Niafunke

Hannibal / World Circuit

Ali Farka’s guitar swirls and darts around you like a spider building a web around you. And the djembe/conga drums drift through like powerful bold winds.

The next track is an acoustic guitar played in the style of a kora, (like a very meditative harp), with some wailing blues riffs flying around.

The kora is a 22-stringed African instrument that you play like a harp with hiccups, which becomes very enchanting. Well, there are no koras on Niafunke , but that is how Ali Farka Toure plays his guitars, electric and acoustic. Careful, it will have you spellbound.

Along with his percussionists and chorale backing, his velvety guitar sounds will put you in the tall blowing grassy rolling meadows. And occasionally will put you outback in the bush squatting near the fire listening to the griot, with a little grit in your teeth and dirt under your nails. Still, an unusual and mesmerizing style of playing guitar mixed with traditional African vocals, rhythms, and dressings make Niafunke a charming and honest experience.

Rykodisc, Shetland Park, 27 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970; http://www.rykodisc.com

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