Sidi Touré is a singer and guitarist from Gao, a big and bustling town in Northern Mali that has been wracked by violence and political instability since the country underwent a military coup last year. In Mali, he's known of a master of Songhaï folk music, characterized by ornate, blues-accented guitar and melismatic vocal lines. But he was forced to record his latest album, Alafia, partly in Nantes, France, when ensuing conflicts between Islamic radicals, Tuareg separatists and the army of the new administration made it too dangerous to return home for a time. Alafia, according to the press release, centers around his country's strife, but "Ay Hôra," with its delicately plucked guitar work and lightly pattering drums, still radiates with a luminous, inner warmth. Alafia is out September 17th via Thrill Jockey. Tourdates below.
Stream: Sidi Touré, "Ay Hôra"
9/8 Bowling Green, OH - Black Swamp Arts Festival
9/9 Lexington, KY - Transylvania University
9/13-16 Chicago, IL - Chicago World Music Festival
9/19 Bowling Green, OH - Grounds For Thought
9/20 Oberlin, OH - Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse
9/21 Pittsburgh, PA - Thunderbird
9/22 Milheim, PA - Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks
9/28 Arlington, VA - Artisphere
10/4 Manchester, NH - Saint Anselm College
10/5 Brooklyn, NY - BAM Cafe
10/6 Philadelphia, PA - Crossroads Music, Calvary Church
10/11-13 Pittsboro, NC - Shakori Hills Grass Roots Festival