Guess I’ve been sawing on about the blues in this blog for awhile, but it’s by design.“When I first heard John Lee Hooker – it was in 1967, when a student friend brought back records from Paris – I thought he was an artist from my country,” Malian singer/guitarist, Ali “Farka” Touré told Eliane Azoulay writing for Calao in 1992. “Then I learned he was American, and then I thought he had stolen our music. In fact what in the West they call ‘blues’ is pure Tamasheq (a branch of the Touareg nomads of the
The Touareg occupy a complicated space in African history. Allegedly descended from the Berbers of Northern Africa, they are traditionally guides along the Saharan trade routes that connect sub-Saharan
The Mande people of western Africa, south of the Sahara founded three great empires along the Niger River, in areas now occupied by the parts of Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Niger and Burkina Faso. The Ghana Empire, famous for its gold and the worship of a serpent god living in the
Like other music from the grasslands that stretch from the southern border of the
It’s an accident of history that in
Bambana and Touareg links here.