Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Free Download - Aï Haïra (live) by Vieux Farka Touré
One of the most gratifying things about working with relatively young artists is witnessing their growth over time. When I sign an act, I'm not just banking on what they sound like "frozen in time" at the moment of signing- I am counting on an exciting level of exponential growth as they gain experience in the studio and on the road. Vieux Farka Touré is a young man with some big shoes to fill. The fact that his father was Ali Farka Touré, one of the most beloved artists to ever emerge from Africa, has inevitably colored the expectations of both fans and industry folks. Watching Vieux grow beautifully into his role as a major artist in his own right and one of the most exciting new guitarists on any continent has been a true joy. In particular, Vieux's growth from the first time I saw him play live in San Francisco in Sept. of last year, to his last show at the Independent Club in July, was truly mind boggling. Don't get me wrong, Vieux was excellent, professional and charismatic during the first show- It's just that after touring the world with his crack band for many months, playing everything from huge festivals to tiny clubs, it was a different being that strapped on his guitar and caused jaws to drop throughout the Independent gig. The songs were much more elastic, serving as springboards for extended jams that built in intensity. The band was tighter and looser at the same time, perfectly backing up Vieux in an almost telepathic manner- and most astonishingly, Vieux's guitar playing was more confident, edgier and more adventurous, conjuring echoes of everyone from his father to Jimi Hendrix, yet remaining completely original.
If you missed Vieux and the band on their last U.S. dates, you can rejoice in the fact that they are coming back. Complete tour dates can be found here. As a special added incentive, here's a typically fiery version of the song "Aï Haïra",recorded live by the CBC at the Sunfest Festival in Ontario Canada a few months ago. One listen will give you some inkling as to why uber producer Don Was calls Vieux's current ensemble the "best f*cking rock 'n roll band in the world"
Posted by Global Noize at 12:29 PM