To be sure «Samba» has nothing to with the Brazilian dance, rather it denotes the second son born to a Malian family. No matter, our Samba will get you feeling your limbs like few musicians can. A gentleman with a sunny disposition, born June 15 in Dabi, a small village in the Timbuktu region, Samba Toure is first and foremost a blues guitarist not just with his hands and voice but with every fiber in his body. Still, heartfelt messages conveyed through his multi-lingual lyrics cannot be waved aside because of their social commentary and as an angry expression with regard to the dire social and political conditions persisting in his country. His father died early on but his mother played an influential role not only in his upbringing but she also sang on stage at the Bamako Biennale festival with the legendary Ali Farka Toure (RIP), famous for working with Ry Cooder and for his own classic album «The Source». And so through his maman, the grandmaster of Malian Desert Blues, who was the first artist from Mali to reach global audiences, Ali promptly became Samba’s Svengali and artistic guiding light.
Samba Toure was taught early on how to handle the strings of the Kora, a West African 21-string-lute-harp with a belly-like sound resonator, fashioned from a stretched cow skin (like a drum). He transformed that very difficult technique his own way in how to play the electric guitar. And because Ali Farka Toure had invited him to tour Europe and the U.S., his mind and ears were opened to a variety of new riffs and invigorating influences, inspiring him to form his own band Fondo. The band epitomizes a lovely, irresistible dance sound, usually not associated with Western blues. Swirling round and round around you and prickling your skin like the windblown sands of the Sahara.
Samba Toure. Live and much alive at El Lokal.