Two Chances Next Week to See Songhoy Blues, a Band Not to Miss

June 12th, 2015

With armed jihadists in the northern region of Mali, Oumar Touré, Allou Touré and Garba Touré sought refuge in the southern town of Bamako. Eventually they met Nat Dembele and decided to channel their interest in classic rock, hip-hop and R&B into their feelings about the displacement of their culture and their people, the Songhoy. So they took the name Songhoy Blues and began playing what Billboard calls guitar-driven music that “connects the trance-inducing traditions of their African music ancestry with flavors employed by the Black Keys, reggae and funk artists and, back in the day, Led Zeppelin.” Produced by Amadou & Mariam manager Marc-Antoiune Moreau and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s Nick Zinner, their acclaimed debut album, Music in Exile (stream it below), came out this past winter. And NME calls Songhoy Blues (above, doing “Soubour”) a “righteous four-piece that even militants couldn’t silence” and the LP “a masterpiece of desert blues; blending American guitar licks with Malian groove.” They’re currently winding down a U.S. tour, but before they head to Europe, you can catch Songhoy Blues on Monday at Rough Trade NYC and on Tuesday at Mercury Lounge.