From the heart of Mali’s Niger Delta, blues guitar genius and singer Mamadou Kelly has played beside two of the greatest Malian musicians: Ali Farka Toure, as a member of his backing group; and Afel Bocoum, as a key member of the band, Alkibar. As supporting guitarist he has accompanied these two greats on many tours and albums. As the glue that holds the music together, Mamadou is a virtuoso. With an encyclopedic knowledge of Malian music, Mamadou Kelly represents the new sophistication of Mali.
Yet, his charm belies a determined professional. Mamadou’s song style is direct, deceptively simple and yet subtly layered with meaning. A rich, historical awareness supports his composition and delivery. Gently prodding his audience with stories, tales and life lessons learned, Mamadou brings a gracious hospitality to his music and the concert stage.
With this album, Mamadou steps center stage. Supported by longtime collaborators, Alpha Ousmane “Hama” Sankare, calabash genius who can be heard on many historic recordings, and Brehima “Youro” Cisse, njarka (monochord violin) master, their music presents the best and most captivating combination of traditional and contemporary West Africa. On this disc they are joined by the young and gifted bass player Baba Traore. A smooth sophistication testifies to the high level of these artists’ craft.