A dream realized - turn up your speakers

Trip Start Sep 17, 2009
Trip End Nov 17, 2009

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Flag of Mali  , Bamako,
Monday, October 5, 2009

this is one of those rare moments that magically happens when you are traveling.  our guide happens to be childhood friends with Vieux Farka Toure who is the son of the late Ali Farka Toure, perhaps the most famous guitar player in all of Africa.  he was a guitar hero of mine.  and now, well,  now Vieux is as well.

Our guide Amadou tried to get hold of Vieux the whole time we were traveling, but he was out of the country touring the US, I believe he was in New Mexico and California.  He is very sought after now since his father's passing since he is carrying on the musical tradition of his family.

Magically, the day we were leaving Vieux reactivated his phone and was in town, in Bamako.  Not only that, but he wanted us to come over to visit him.  we were very excited, Mali was on our list  because of music.

anyway, the long and short of it is that we made it to the house of Farka Toure, there were pictures of him with his father and of his father playing the guitar, etc.  we chilled out and drank some tea and water and laughed for about an hour.  then Vieux called his assistant to go and get his guitars,  he had around 15 of them in his closet. 

Vieux just cut a new album that is called "Fondo" it was put out by 6 Degrees records in San Fran.  check out http://sixdegreesrecords.com they have a bunch of cool artists on their site and I think his is available for purchase.

Vieux is already famous ,  at age 28 he is going to become increasingly so as his musical legacy grows.  the techniques of the master have been handed down to him and I think his playing and singing which is already really good is only going to get better.

what again was extremely humbling was that a complete stranger let us into his home and he was probably jet-lagged and exhausted, but he took time to receive his childhood friend as well as us.  then he played, and we played and sang and danced with him.  there was no judgement, it was just about being together and fun, and music.

in Mali if you are the head of the family, it is your responsibility to provide for your brothers, sisters, mothers, mother in laws, wife, her sisters, daughters, sisters in law, etc.  hence its very much a family business for them.  Vieux is now the head of his family since the passing of his father.  he isnt the oldest brother, but he carries the torch of the musical legacy, and people go to see him play.

the women of the house made us a feast.  they all dressed up really nice to come and welcome him back from the US, and to make a big lunch.  there were like probably 40-50 people that popped in for a few minutes to say hello and welcome him back.  we werent sure if we should leave , but he insisted we stay and hand out, because Amadou was such a good friend of his. so we did, and we played and laughed and danced for several hours. 

oh , one more thing.  thats my travel guitar he is playing, he made it sound better than I have heard it.  I had him sign it
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