Monday, February 5, 2018

Ali Touré dit Farka



to me blue is just a color. 
My music came long before the blues was born

Sunday, January 28, 2018


Djelimady Tounkara and  Bouba Sacko met for once in Bamako in November 1992 
Lafia Diabate  former Rail Band singer and brother of Kassé Mady Diabaté
came from  Kela  to add  the voice
their meeting  was recorded directly in DAT by Ben Mandelson
the result,prime Mande guitar music was Bajourou ,the big Sound


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sona Diabaté

Née en 1959 à Tiro, en Guinée, l’auteure-compositrice, guitariste, balafoniste et chanteuse, Sona Diabaté, propose un afro-folk tiré de la musique mandingue, intégrant du folk, du blues, et tantôt de la pop ou de l’afro-cubain. Elle est aussi membre fondateur de l’Orchestre Féminin de la Gendarmerie Nationale de Guinée devenu Les Amazones de Guinée, première formation féminine d’Afrique de l’Ouest, fondée en 1961 par la volonté du président Ahmed Sékou Touré (1922-1984) et sous l’impulsion de Keïta Fodéba.
Fille de l’immense chanteur, balafoniste et ex Directeur de l’Ensemble Instrumental de Guinée, El’Hadj Djéli Fodé Diabaté, qui lui transmet l’héritage griottique familial et lui apprend le chant et le balafon, Sona Diabaté est la sœur de Sayon Diabaté et de Sékou Diabaté dit “Diamond Fingers”, légendaire guitariste du Bembeya Jazz qui lui donne goût à la guitare.
Nago Seck

Thursday, December 28, 2017

grand papa diabaté

"In the late 1950s, as most African nations were gaining their political independence, Papa Diabate (born in Faranah, Guinea, 1936) was developing a new single-note style of African guitar playing based on using a plectrum rather than the thumb and index finger technique used throughout Africa.
Having learned his scales and other European musical techniques at the conservatory of music in Dakar,
Papa set about merging those techniques with Guinean music to create an original guitar style that could cut through and help power the brass-based dance orchestras that were on the rise.
He may indeed have been the first of his generation in Guinea to play the electric guitar. Certainly he was the most prominent.
The list of electric guitarists who cite him as their inspiration and teacher includes the best that Guinea had to offer in the 1960s and 70s: Manfila Kante, who ended up in Mali co-leading Les Ambassadeurs with vocalist Salif Keita, Sekou “Bembeya” Diabate of Bembeya Jazz , and Papa’s younger brother Sekou “Docteur” Diabate, who was the soloist with Bala et ses Balladins.
Although Papa Diabate trained the initial generation of Guinean electric guitarists, he himself rarely recorded commercially in his early years."

 Grand Papa Diabaté here, is accompanied by Moriken Kouyate ,Bakary Kanté,Kante Manfila,Djessou Mory Kanté, and the sublime Sona Diabaté on vocals.

 guitar,extra dry

bonus track:
Papa & Sekou Diabaté - Les virtuoses Diabaté

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mtoto Si Nguo

Like Father...Like Son
the only son,Johnstone Ouko Mukabi in the footsteps of his late father,
the legendary guitarist George Mukabi
two generations of classic Kenyan  fingerstyle guitarists  at their  finest
George Mukabi from the distant 1960
and Johnstone from the distant 1985
utterly beautiful Music

Mtoto Si Nguo

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Nairobi Sound

.....From this melting-pot of influences gradually emerged distinctively Kenyan finger- styles. In the towns, the influence of ‘Katangan’ styles, Latin American music, and two-guitar styles from Zaire were strongest. The rural finger-styles developed in parallel with the town styles, to some extent both feeding off, and feeding, the town music. The rural styles were less varied, less sophisticated, and less open to outside influences, being more strongly rooted in local traditions. The rural ‘Sukuti’ style, on the other hand, was more vigorous and more rhythmic than the town playing.
Town-based guitarists tried their luck with the young but expanding record industry. They composed Swahili songs which were sold as singles to the urban working class. Many were straight love-songs, no different from those in any other type of popular music. Others commented on the changes that town life brings, warning for example against prostitutes. Themes such as the lack of work in Nairobi also began to be common, although political songs didn’t really emerge until the 1960’s.

Some rural finger-stylists like George Mukabi and William Osale also had success in the towns, providing Swahili versions of songs that they might sing in local languages back home. The appeal of their songs lay in the fact that many town dwellers had (and still have) strong links with the land, and the themes of these songs, often conservative and sometimes nostalgic, reminded them of the old values

During the 1950% guitarists in the country were often viewed by the authorities as trouble-makers, debauchees, and rebels. This view was shared by chiefs, the church, and the colonial administration alike: by everyone, in fact, except the ordinary people who liked the new music. To some extent this criticism could be applied to any musician who got mixed up with drink and trouble: and it was not difficult to find guitarists with exotic, dangerous life-styles. Many of Tobias Oyugi’s songs are about riotous behaviour, drunkenness, and arrests. George Mukabi met a violent end as the result of a quarrel with his wife’s family. However, it went further than this: the guitarists also represented a threatening kind of change.

The typical Kenyan sound of this time is rather difficult to define. It was an attractive, clean sound, both in the guitar playing and the singing. There was plenty of variety in the solo guitar playing whether in the form of repeated set instrumental passages, or improvised riffs and variations. Compared to the heavier intensity of contemporary Zairean groups, the Kenyan sound had a lighter ‘country’ feel. Nevertheless, this was a time of vigorous exploration and development for Kenyan music.Kenyan musicians were consciously struggling to develop a truly national music and at their best produced dynamic, original and very exciting dance tunes. One of the best examples is ‘Western Shilo’ by Daudi Kabaka, playing and singing with George Agade, and, incidentally, using finger-styles. Both these men are Luhya and ‘shilo’ is a Luhya dance rhythm. ‘Western Shilo’ therefore incorporates a traditional rhythm, in triple time, into a modern guitar idiom: the song, with wonderful melody, tension and drive, was a great hit, and very popular with dancers. Kabaka made a point of telling me how proud he was that he was able to draw on the musical traditions of his people in developing a music with national appeal....

John Low -1982
 A History of Kenyan Guitar Music 1945-1980

The Sound


W. John Ondolo Kerena

Unknown Thum Nyatiti Solo

Dick Ngoye Elias Odede

Francis Macharia Wanjiru Wanjiru

Unknown Chemirocha

Herbert Misango Wazee Wa Kisa

Wiliamu Osale Vijana Niambie

Humphrey Eshitool Safari Kibosho

Daudi Kabaka
 & George Agade
Western Shilo

John Mwale Shirikisho La Afrika

Fadhili William
 & The Black Shadows

Peter Tsotsi 
& Nashil Pichen
Mulofwa Mmoja

Jim Lasco Baba Kumbuka

 Jim Lasco Wanajiita Sisi Wahumi

 Isaya Mwinamo Ukosefu Wa Kazi

 Isaya Mwinamo Lipa Kodi Ya City Council