Creative Review New Music
Amadou & Mariam and Blind Boys Of Alabama have released two new songs ‘Bamako’ and ‘Two Cultures’ through Because Music.
The fruit of a collaboration between the celebrated groups called ‘From Bamako To Birmingham’ has also seen the bands play sold-out shows across Europe. Having performed at The Barbican and Walthamstow Garden Party last weekend, ‘From Bamako To Birmingham’ will return to the UK next month for appearances at Cambridge Folk Festival and Edinburgh Fringe.
This cross-genre collaboration came about through conversations between the bands on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They then set out to record some music, which the Blind Boys kicked off by laying down two tracks in the USA which included their distinctive vocals. Those tracks were sent to Mali, where vocals and Amadou’s distinctive guitar sounds were added. The result is the two tracks now being released by Because Music.
One of the most famous ambassadors for Malian music, Amadou & Mariam have managed to joyfully combine their love story with a musical career for the past forty-odd years. They have collaborated with many different people and worked with producers like Damon Albarn or Manu Chao and have invited artists such Santigold, TV On The Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to play on their songs and have had their tracks remixed by Yuksek, Vitalic, Henrik Schwarz, Miike Snow and Ashley Beedle. Amadou & Mariam have played the world’s biggest festivals, from Coachella to Glastonbury, and opened for bands such as Coldplay and the Scissor Sisters. By enriching their Afro-pop with new elements, the duo has brought African music to the charts and to the dance floor.
The career of Blind Boys of Alabama spans over 70 years and they are recognised worldwide as living legends of gospel music. The Blind Boys are known for crossing musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favourites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits. They have appeared on recordings with many artists, including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Patty Griffin and Taj Mahal.
‘From Bamako To Birmingham’ Tour:
THU 1st Cork Ireland Skibereen Arts Festival
FRI 2nd Cork Ireland Skibereen Arts Festival
SUN 4th Cambridge, UK Cambridge Folk Festival
WED 7th Edinburgh Scotland Edinburgh Fringe Festival
THU 8th Västra Götalands län Sweden Way Out West