An acoustic guitarist from Mali, Boubacar Traore (also known as Kar Kar) was apparently well-known in the 1960s in his homeland for songs of independence (in particular a song called 'Mali Twist'). He then disappeared for some twenty years (many of his countrymen assumed he had passed away) before re-starting his recording career. I had the opportunity to see him play recently, accompanied only by a friend thumping and clicking on a gourd with his hand and two small sticks - together they created a sound that evoked something distantly reminiscent of the blues, but seen through a different cultural heritage. Before the show, I knew nothing of the musical history of Mali - and now I want to know more.
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