Khruangbin and Malian singer and guitarist Boureima “Vieux” Farka Touré have announced a collaborative tribute to desert blues guitar innovator and Vieux’s father, the late Ali Farka Touré, entitled Ali. The announcement comes along with the first preview of the album, which arrived in the form of lead single “Savanne”.
Nicknamed the “African John Lee Hooker,” Ali Farka Touré was one of the most talented and influential guitarists from the African continent. Dubbed “desert blues,” his groundbreaking style blended traditional Malian music with elements of the blues, with lyrics in the local Songhay, Tamasheq, Fulfulde and Bambara languages. He won three Grammy awards including two Best World Music Album awards and Best Traditional World Music Album.
Due out via Dead Oceans on September 23rd, the day after Republic Day, which commemorates Mali’s independence, Ali pays homage to Vieux’s late father by recreating some of his favorite songs and most important work with new sounds while maintaining the spirit of the original compositions.
“I want this album to convey love,” Vieux said of the collaboration. “It is about the love that Ali brought into the world. It is about the love that I have for him and that Khruangbin has for his music. It is about pouring your love into something old to make it new again.”
“We made this album to honor Ali’s life and body of work,” Khruangbin added. “We hope this collaboration enlightens more people to Ali’s musical legacy.”
With “Savanne”, Khruangbin and Vieux Farka Touré offer the first preview of their eight-song collaboration. With a few simple chords, a repetitive groove, and Touré’s raw vocals, the song blends Ali’s West African style with Khruangbin’s syncretic dub-funk—not out of character for the trio of Mark Speer, Laura Lee, and Donald “DJ” Johnson Jr., who is known for incorporating diverse influences from cultures around the globe. Speer takes a back seat on some of the album, adding synthesizer and conga while giving Vieux space to shine on lead guitar.
Listen to “Savanne”, the lead single from Ali, Khruangbin and Vieux Farka Touré’s forthcoming tribute to Ali Farka Touré, below or on your preferred streaming platform.
Khruangbin And Vieux Farka Touré – “Savanne”