Vieux Farka Touré - Samba

(Six Degrees Records 2017)

Album review highlights

"Vieux’s dazzling guitar prowess has earned him the sobriquet “the Hendrix of the Sahara”. Samba is a wide-ranging set which takes in the deep reggae groove of “Ouaga” and the more flamenco-like complexity of “Samba Si Kaire”, a graceful song about the guitarist’s parents … The griot tribute-songs extend from close family to his extended cultural family, specifically fellow musicians persecuted by jihadist invaders in Northern Mali, their suffering acknowledged in the blizzard of skirling guitar that illuminates “Homafu Wawa”.“ ****   — The Independent

"From album to album, Vieux Farka Touré is one of the most respected guitarists and musicians in the world. Each of his projects is praised both by critics and by the public. This new opus, a hybrid and inventive disc recorded in studio and in front of an audience, confirms the extent of his talent."   — ICI Musique, CBC

"This is the devotional, earthy soul of Mali, channeled through a six-string electric guitar." — Monolith Cocktail

“Neither traditional album nor live recording … Slick yet lively, powerful yet clear … Vieux is stepping out of the shadows of his [father] into a spotlight all of his own.” **** — Record Collector

“A raucous portrait of a well-drilled band on fire.” **** — Mojo

“The most impressive, mature and interesting of Vieux’s [albums] so far … Vieux Farka Touré continues to develop as a fine musician who is proving to be his own man and found an interesting way of presenting his own music.”  — fRoots

"Beginning an album with a near six minute instrumental is adventurous by anyone’s standards, even more impressive is to carry it off successfully, and Vieux Farka Toure does just that as Bonheur grips the listener from the opening bars … Vieux is in blinding form.” 7.5/10  — Louder Than War

"The rhythms are insistent and fluid, he moves easily through Malian Blues, funk, reggae and praise songs and the numbers themselves were developed in the studio so you get the feel of music in its gestation but in the environment he has always been the master – live … Toure is approaching a creative peak … Just another magnificent album from the ‘Hendrix of the Sahara’.”   *****  — Music-News

“Since 2009, Vieux Farka Touré has been working with Six Degrees on a run of increasingly commanding albums, and Samba continues the trend. Opener “Bonheur” is a tangled, motoring desert blues. “Samba Si Kaira” rolls and chugs, while Vieux’s guitar picks out a tracery of tangled figures. “Homafu Wama” finds him shredding on rockier material seemingly built around a quote from “I Shot The Sheriff”.”  — The Wire

"Vieux Farka Touré takes us to the sacred heart of rock n roll." — The Arts Desk

Samba debuted at #6 on WORLD MUSIC CHARTS EUROPE


“The son of Malian music royalty, the legendary Ali Farka Toure, Vieux Farka Touré is often referred to as the Hendrix of the Sahara, a title meant more to convey the point that the man is a brilliant guitarist than to suggest that there's anything remotely Hendrix-esque about his playing (which there isn't). He's an altogether different kind of awe-inspiring.

“His playing is clean, fast and fluid, notes arriving in flurries. And Sunday's performance with his world-music trio afforded the guitarist ample opportunity to show you just how fast and fluid he can be. Before his set was through, he had the crowd singing along in African to one song and dancing wildly to his closing number.” —AZ Central (full article)

“....from panel discussions on creative work and modern masculinity to a barn-burning performance from emergency substitution Vieux Farka Touré, among others.” —Phoenix New Times (full article)

“One of the world's greatest guitarists.” —RnR

"Toure’s guitar playing is, frankly, incredible … The man is a master showman but he leaves it to his music to produce the fireworks … There is no-one who can approach his playing today and he is constantly setting new standards for what can be achieved with a guitar but he never loses sight of the music that lies at the heart of his playing and through number after number sent the music into higher and higher realms...I don’t think I’ve seen a musician of the same standard as Toure in the last couple of years – definitely a gig of the year contender." ***** — Music-News

"A rare talent indeed. **** " — Newcastle Evening Chronicle (full article)

"Touré’s fingers are lightning-fast, his sound in general light as a feather. He favours delay over distortion, playing soft and speedy melodies with overtones of Malian folk-guitar that culminates in a strangely dreamy and blissful sonic atmosphere.” —  Brighton’s Finest (full article)

“[Vieux] Farka Touré is fast becoming as respected a Malian blues guitarist as his departed father, Ali."  — The Independent on Sunday (full article)

“The son of the late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré inherited his dad’s dazzlingly fluid phrasing but clearly also digs the fiery African blues rock of bands like Tinariwen. Here, he joins American peers for a crossover set that slays” — Rolling Stone (full article)

“…original guitar music of such fluidity, technique, rhythmic invention, and passion, that it is virtually unequaled. 4 1/2 Stars out of 5″ — ‘The Secret’ album review, All Music (full article)

“[Vieux's] gently twisting melodic lines can acquire intensity with surprising speed, as theydid on a brilliant version of “Lakkal” that left both band and audience momentarilybreathless.” — Live review, LA Times (full article)

“Every now and then, if you’re very lucky, you get to witness a live performance that blows everything else away. ” — The Independent, review about Vieux’s Queen Elizabeth Hall show (full article)

“Set to be Africa’s next guitar hero. ” — The Guardian, review about Vieux’s Queen Elizabeth Hall show (full article)

“Leaves other fine guitarists with their jaws hanging loose” — (full article)

“He combines the prowess of a global superstar with a down-to-earth charisma and this is a hot ticket with a down-home feel.” — Metro, London (full article download)

“Not just the “Hendrix of the Sahara” but much more besides.” — Songlines (full article download)




Marshall Henry
Modiba Productions