Modou Toure and Ramon Goose: The West African Blues Project (Arc Music)

 |   |  <1 min read

Satan
Modou Toure and Ramon Goose: The West African Blues Project (Arc Music)

The idea of a connection between West Africa and the blues is hardly new. As far back as the Thirties scholars were exploring the songlines and in his seminal The Story of The Blues book (and accompanying record) in the early Sixties Paul Oliver clearly established the aural link.

It's a path back and forth which the likes of Eric Bibb, Keb M'o, Baaba Maal and many others have traveled these past few decades.

And does British guitarist Ramon Goose on this sparkling album with Senegalese singer/guitarist Modou Toure which walks a deft path between the blues and traditional African music.

Sometimes it rocks out like it is being beamed in from a Fifties juke-joint in the Mississippi Delta (Lolambe), at others – as on Dune and the languid We Walk in the Sahara – Toure's voice floats above the rolling rhythms and guitar shimmer'n'twang.

And Waar just sounds like a really cool soul-pop song.

What unifies all this is that blues grounding from Goose, whether it be melancholy, eerie, searing (the breathtaking Satan) or celebratory. Goose has some prior form in this area (the collaboration with kora player Diabel Cissokho) so can lock into a groove and mentality with ease, and a hint of this album came with the track Lolambe on the collection The Rough Guide to African Blues of last year.

Strength through diversity, we might say.

I'd think it would be very hard not to be grabbed by this.

Share It

Your Comments

David Geary - Aug 11, 2015

Very cool. Love that African Blues crossover conversation. Similarly, do you know Mbongwana Star - Malukayi (feat. Konono No.1) , the drums, beats, bass really infectious/hypnotic and cool vocals. cheers DG

GRAHAM REPLIES: Indeed. the thrilling and weird Mbongwana Star album From Kinshasa appeared at Elsewhere a few weeks back. Do a search folks, it's terrific, and odd.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

The Garifuna Women's Project: Umalali (Elite)

The Garifuna Women's Project: Umalali (Elite)

The sudden death in January of singer-songwriter Andy Palacio from Belize robbed the Garifuna movement of an important figurehead. His album Watina took the distinctive music of the coastal... > Read more

Custodio Castelo: InVentus (Arc Music)

Custodio Castelo: InVentus (Arc Music)

Custodio Castelo offers romantic guitars from Portugal  . . . but on this outing is heading elsewhere. His 2011 album The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar was a delight by this master of the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Low Spark: Out in the Ozone (LowSpark)

The Low Spark: Out in the Ozone (LowSpark)

Dunno about you but I'd always rather hear the young, enthusiastic, overstated, lightly misguided, energetic debut from a band than being bored witless by their fourth album. Fact is though that... > Read more

Out of a Clear Blue Sky

Out of a Clear Blue Sky

Kevin Saatchi, CEO of the New York-based advertising and media company RobertsAndRoberts, said yesterday he was excited about his company being offered the contract to re-brand New Zealand for the... > Read more