- 08 Aug 18
Touré gets his ya-yas out
Although they’re no relation, Samba Touré did some time in the mighty Ali Farka Touré’s band in the ‘90s. In fact, the connection goes back even further, Samba’s mother having sung with the young Ali. Samba credits that apprenticeship with opening his ears to a lot of new influences, directly inspiring his own guitar style on debut album Fondo, which was a hit back home in Mali. Samba went further with his 2008 international debut Songhai Blues: Homage To Ali Farka Touré.
The debt to Farka Touré is also evident on this, his seventh record. ‘Yo Pouhala’ and ‘Hawah’ are the kind of guitar and soku/njarka fiddle-driven blues his mentor was known for, Samba also utilising the tama talking drum, which adds a faint element of Jamaican nyabinghi music to the mix. The Stonesy riff that drives ‘Yerfara’ along then brings things back into the city; it’ll have Keith Richards slamming his vodka on the table in anger that he didn’t come up with it first. ‘Goy Boyro’could be John Lee Hooker were it not for the ngoni part that follows the riff around.
The title track is a song to his wife - Wande translates as ‘The Beloved’ - and its sound would have been familiar to plantation workers in the America of the early 20th century. ‘Mana Yero Koy’ and ‘Hayame’ both pick the pace back up slightly before he closes out with the beautiful ‘Tribute To Zoumana Tereta’; Tereta was a soku player who worked with Samba on a few of his records. It’s a spoken piece driven along by a loose bass guitar groove.