Malian Guitar Goodness

Lobi Traore - Bwati Kono
Lobi Traore

Bwati Kono (Kanga System Krush, 2011)

Ditching the summer blues with some kick ass electric guitar blues just got a whole lot easier with the late Lobi Traore’s Bwati Kono, out on the Kanga System Krush label. Following up on recordings like Mali Blue, Barra Coura and Rainy Season Blues, Lobi Traore”s legacy is back with Bwati Kono and the sounds are deliciously potent. Recorded live at the club Espace Academie and in a courtyard behind a Nigerian hotel, Bwati Kono possesses all the gritty goodness Mr. Traore was famous for.

With backing rhythm guitarist Bako Diarra, bassist Lamine Soumano, drummer Sekou Diarra, djembe player Adama Sissoko and balafon player Moribo Kouyate, Mr. Traore worked his guitar magic while belting out lyrics on Bwati Kono , creating a sound that is part hypnotic African soulfulness and part hard edged electric blues.

Bwati Kono opens with “Makono,” full of guitar goodness, before slipping into the sultry guitar and percussion meaty “Banan Ni.” Traore and company tear through the “Jama,” “Mali Ba” and the hip “Bi Donga Fa Ko.” My favorite is the low slung blues number “Ya Time” with its gritty guitar edges and plaintive vocals by Mr. Traore.

Lobi Traore digged deep blues and pulled out all the stops and the result is that Bwati Kono is brutally good.

Buy the album or MP3 downloads:

Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.


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