Arguably one of the most popular Malian performers in the world music circuit, Habib Koité is best known both for his guitar technique and for his calm, measured performances, which contrasts with the more fiery style of other artists from his country. A relentless touring artist who is always on the road, Koité harldly ever finds the time to get into the studio his latest release, last year's Afriki (Cumbancha) came after a six-year hiatus in the meantime, he found the time to collaborate with the likes of Bonnie Raitt (who is a confessed fan) and folk-blues troubadour Eric Bibb. Unlike the late Ali Farka Touré or Amadou & Mariam, Koité does not use electric guitars, relying instead on his steel-stringed acoustic, which he plays without many effects, save an occasional wah-wah or some reverb. Also, Koité bases his sound on the traditional music of his native country, adapting it in his own was making sound as organic as it gets these days. His music as is like a journey of discovery which will please both weathered fans and newcomers alike.
Tue., March 31, 2009